The Great. The Mighty. The Gronk.
Written by: Jon Gerstenberger
How do you sum up the career of Rob Gronkowski, one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, and one of the most loveable personalities in football. From “situations” with porn stars to denting the Lombardi trophy to fake retiring to avoid the Lions, Rob Gronkowski has carried out a mythical NFL career. Let’s step into the time machine and look at the history of “Gronk” and his path to NFL great.
That’s Rob Gronkowski and his brothers, Gordie, Dan, Chris, and Glenn. Making it to the NFL is an incredible feat, something only a fraction of the population will ever experience…except for the Gronkowski's. Three of the brothers played in the NFL and one in the MLB, so being different is relatively normal in the Gronkowski household. Even their father, Gordon, played guard for Syracuse in his heyday – what a failure not making it to the league, right?
What many might not know is that Gronk grew up in Churchill, Pennsylvania, and attended Woodland Hills High School, which just so happened to be a factory for producing Division 1 recruits. The school has produced about 100 Division 1 recruits, to be exact, including Miles Sanders and Hall of Famer Jason Taylor. Rob dominated in all sports, posting seven touchdowns as a tight end and six sacks as a defensive end his junior season before heading to Arizona to play football in 2007.
As with much of his career, injury caught up to Gronkowski at Arizona, causing him to miss his junior season in 2009, but not before posting a 75-1,197-16 line in his first two seasons. That’s where the Gronk legacy truly began.
Drafted in 2010, Gronk exploded onto the NFL scene, catching his first regular-season touchdown in week 1, then in week 10, catching three touchdowns, making him the youngest rookie to ever to do so. He also became the first Patriot rookie to do so, although, in hindsight, it’s not so hard to imagine when catching passes from the greatest quarterback of all time.
He set an NFL record for tight ends in his sophomore season, catching 17 touchdowns, and proceeded to league the league in receiving yards for tight ends four times in his career, touchdowns for tight ends three more times, and won a total of four Super Bowls, all with the same quarterback on two different teams.
It’s strange to watch such a historic run come to a close, but is Rob Gronkowski truly gone from the NFL? Tom Brady retired less than two months earlier this year, and if there’s one person who could pull Gronk out of retirement, it’s the GOAT.
Maybe we see the duo reunited for one more push for the Lombardi trophy, but if not, we’re five years from seeing a bronze bust of Rob Gronkowski in Canton.