Quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski have been long-time teammates in the NFL, first with the New England Patriots and more recently with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The pair also partnered up this year on a new commercial for carrier network T-Mobile; the Super Bowl ad fills in the fictional backstory of how and why both players ended up playing for the Buccaneers.
Set a year ago, the minute-long film shows Brady and Gronk catching up via video chat, with Brady pondering his next move and considering retirement. Gronk (who retired from the NFL in real life) encourages him to do so, singing the praises of a life of leisure in sunny Florida. “If you retire now, you’re going to be walking on soft sand in a week,” he says. “Retirement is like winning another one! Maybe I’ll even join you.”
The central conceit of the ad, however, is that the two legendary athletes are talking over a poor cell connection, meaning what Brady ends up hearing is: “If you retire now, you’re soft and weak… Just come to Florida and win another one, maybe I’ll even join you.”
While the ad manages to make a pretty decent gag of Gronk’s recent career trajectory (“I’m retired from retiring?!”), it most definitely won’t be airing with the rest of this year’s Super Bowl TV spots, due to some legal issues relating to a “protected telco rights deal.”
“We made this amazing ad starring the amazing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski,” a T-Mobile spokesperson stated. “Even after editing, the spot was still banned.”
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