It was a brilliantly funny tribute to a British institution. Rob Gronkowski caught the first of his two touchdown passes on the day in the second quarter as the Patriots took a 21-7 lead at Wembley Stadium. He caught the ball over the middle in the end zone and proceeded to march to his right and then turned on a dime before marching back to the left, raising his legs stiffly each time. He then finished it off in Gronk style with a thunderous spike.
"That little nutcracker dude that's guarding the house," Gronkowski said Sunday after the 45-7 laugher at Wembley Stadium. "I like how he just sits there and stays still. It's pretty cool."
The "dude" -- of course -- would be one of the Queen's Guards at Buckingham Palace.
The inspiration came from a rookie. "I give that one credit to Chandler [Jones]," Gronkowski said. "He told me to do it."
Tom Brady was amused by the spike when asked about it after the game. Brady, though, pointed out that he was trying to stay away so that the team wouldn't pick up a celebration penalty and so Gronk wouldn't be fined.
"I don't know what the hell he was doing [with] that first one," Brady said. "He needs some work on that."
There was no joke about the day Gronkowski had, with eight receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. After the second TD, Gronkowski had a hip-twisting, gyrating dance before another spike. Gronkowski's best catch, though, came late in the first quarter as he caught a pass from Brady over the shoulder at the 1-yard line, setting up a 1-yard TD run by Shane Vereen.
Gronkowski made quite the impression on the Brits leading up to Sunday's game, with the highlight coming on Saturday when -- during the NFL FanFest event at Trafalgar Square -- he spiked a microphone, creating a screeching, near-deafening sound that amused the thousands in the crowd.
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