TWSS: The 'Aw geez, Mom' edition
The Patriots improved to 5-1 with Sunday's last-second win against the New Orleans Saints, but not everyone in New England felt like celebrating. Diane Gronkowski, the mother of sidelined tight end Rob Gronkowski, spent the day defending her son and bashing his critics.
"All I can say is Robbie is dying to play," Mama Gronk told the Boston Herald. "He wants to get out there. He's doing what he has to do to get back playing. ... It really bothers him that he's not playing."
As for the critics who say Gronkowski should have been back out on the field by now despite his injured forearm?
"Rob is the only one who can make this decision," Diane told the newspaper. "Anybody else who has a comment to make positively or negatively aren't Rob. ... When they go through four arm surgeries, a back surgery and a foot surgery in a year and a half, then they can make the comments."
It's clear Diane had her son's best interests in mind -- and I say more power to her. But you have to wonder if the Gronker, noted fan of shirtless partying, shirtless dancing and shirtless photo ops with porn stars, may be a little embarrassed by his mother's comments. After all, "Robbie" has a reputation to uphold. He's a party boy, not a mama's boy. "Yo soy mami" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
The good news for Gronkowski? His mom isn't the first (or the worst) to grab headlines. In honor of Mama Gronk, here are some other outspoken athlete moms, listed from least embarrassing ("Aw geez, Ma") to most mortifying ("Mooooooom!").
Amy Balsz ("Aw geez, Ma")
Midway through the first day of the 2012 US Open, amateur golfer Beau Hossler sat atop the leaderboard, ahead of Tiger Woods and the rest of the pros. The then-17-year-old didn't go on to win the tournament, but he won over a lot of fans -- and so did his mother, Amy Balsz.
A few cutaways to the lithe, blonde Balsz was all it took for the interwebs to explode with "MILF" fever. It was nearly impossible to scroll through Twitter that day without subconsciously beginning to hum along to "Hossler's mom has got it going on ..."
Hearing people talk about your foxy mom is embarrassing enough for a high school kid, but it's even worse when she's stealing some of your 15 minutes of fame.
Lynn Faber Raisman ("OMG, Mooooom!")
The mother of Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman earned nearly as much screen time as her daughter during the 2012 Summer Games. Lynn and her husband, Rick, cringed, squirmed, stretched and held their breath through every one of the routines they watched, exerting nearly as much physical effort as the gymnasts did.
Fortunately for the Raismans, Aly saw the humor in their histrionics, even posting a video of their "seat gymnastics" on Twitter. It's safe to say we're all crossing our fingers for Round 2 of the Raismans at the 2016 Rio Games.
Wilma McNabb ("You're embarrassing me, Mom!")
The mother of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb made a name for herself in the early 2000s feeding Philly in Campbell's Chunky Soup ads. Wilma owned the role, serving up soup to McNabb and his teammates -- and even getting a Gatorade shower in one of the spots.
Wilma's soup game was on point, but this year she went from cute to cringe-worthy with her McNabb-inspired song, "When Your Heart is on the Field." Sample lyrics:
He gives me strength when I am weak
He shows me who I want to be
He's my light when I can't see
He gives me reasons to believe
Leave the music -- especially the practically plagiarized lyrics -- to Celine Dion, Wilma.
Pamela Bryant ("That's about enough, Ma")
Family dinners at the Bryant house got a little awkward last May when Kobe Bryant's mother attempted to auction off a bunch of her son's old jerseys, trophies and awards. When New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions began advertising the sale, Bryant's lawyers sent out a cease and desist letter, claiming Pamela wasn't authorized to sell the memorabilia.
The auction house eventually came to a settlement with Bryant, who allowed them to continue with the sale of six items, including his 2000 NBA All-Star ring and two of his high school uniforms. Bryant has had enough drama in his career -- you gotta believe Mom trying to make a quick buck off his memories was another headache he didn't want.
Gloria James ("Mooooooooooooom!")
What can you say about LeBron James' mother that hasn't already been said in a rap lyric? (Rimshot, please.)
To be fair, as far as we know, the alleged relationship between Gloria and Delonte West is just the stuff of rumors. But we do know a few things to be true: She did get into a screaming match with Paul Pierce mid-game, and she did drunkenly slap a hotel valet while trying to pull the "Don't you know who I am?" card.
The 44-year-old Gloria is now dating 31-year-old rapper Lambo, who is just three years older than LeBron. As the saying goes, "Age is just a number," so go get yours, Gloria. Just don't be surprised if, after the wedding, LeBron doesn't listen to his new stepdad, especially after Lambo called King James his "role model" on Instagram.