, Salem, MA


January 29, 2012

Who needs Stickum when you've got 'sticky' gloves?


"It's more grippier. It gets the ball down quicker," Mesko said.

Gronkowski's really stand out on TV, because they're all white, and he wraps white tape around his wrists at the base of the gloves, making them look massive.

Plus, he grabs pretty much everything thrown in his direction: Gronkowski's 90 catches this season ranked fifth in the NFL, and his 17 touchdown receptions set a record for a tight end.

Patriots teammates such as BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead and Matthew Slater swear by the gloves, too, although running back Green-Ellis wasn't quite prepared to give the equipment credit for his perfect record of zero fumbles in the NFL.

Greg Jennings, a Pro Bowl receiver for the Green Bay Packers, said the main benefit he gets from the gloves is to protect his hands from the "sting" from a football's laces.

"Oh, I can catch. Every receiver needs be able to catch barehanded," Jennings said. "The gloves don't catch the ball for you. It's the hands."

That's certainly true, of course.

Still, others do acknowledge some assistance from the gloves.

"They make your job a little easier," New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller said. "We all could catch the ball without gloves, but with the grip on the gloves and with them somewhat serving as a layer of protection, I think wearing gloves is a no-brainer."

Other players praised the equipment for keeping hands safe from injury in case they get stepped on or while blocking.

Still, these aren't exactly the kind of mittens you'd choose to stay warm in the dead of winter.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph described his gloves as being thin and lightweight enough to give him the feeling of being able to actually feel the ball when he catches it.

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