ESPN

2012 Boston Newsmakers

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2. Rob Gronkowski

Photograph By Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Patriots' talented and gregarious big man broke the record for most receiving yards for a tight end on New Year's Day versus the Bills, and his offensive dominance was a big reason for the team's 2011-12 success. If he hadn't injured his ankle in the AFC Championship Game and been limited in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants, many believe the Pats would have come home with another Vince Lombardi Trophy. His offseason was just as eventful, as the fun-loving bachelor's partying and posing became the "summer of Gronk."

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