Let us find out that tight end Rob Gronkowski's arrival in Tampa Bay was all an elaborate Mother's Day present for his mom, Diane. The 'Masked Singer' contestant and 'Game On' star told Ellen that while his BFF and quarterback for nine years with the Patriots, Tom Brady, was the 'appetizer' for why he wanted to come to Tampa, it wasn't the biggest reason. It's a statement we've heard him make before but now, we know the main course.
"Of course, it didn't hurt that Tom went to Tampa and the opportunity was there to go to Tampa," Gronkowski told Ellen. "Tom was like the appetizer, and there were a few other reasons – I love the weather. But the main reason I came down to Tampa was because my mother lives two hours away. She can get to all eight of my home games. Whenever I have days off, she's two hours down the street and I get to see her. She's super excited –"
At which point, Gronkowski's mom appeared from off screen to give him a hug on camera. Gronk, who was born on Mother's Day as perhaps the biggest Mother's Day gift the mother of five boys (and five professional athletes) could ask for, came down this year to spend the holiday with her in Ft. Myers. He posted this picture with his mom and grandma, who was already sporting a Tampa Bay Buccaneers hat. Unclear if she had it before Gronk signed with the team.
Gronkowski then went on to tell Ellen why he felt coming out of retirement was the right thing to do. Ellen asked if he had thought at the time he retired that he was really done with football.
"At the time that I retired, I definitely felt like it was the right decision," Gronkowski explained. "I needed a break from the game. I've talked about it many times, I mean, I played football for 15, 16 years straight […] I just feel like my body needed a little rest. I wasn't sure if I was really going to get back into football at the time, but my body healed up."
Gronkowski underwent nine surgeries in his playing days. It was the result of hit after hit going up against defensive ends or being blindsided by safeties streaking across the field. The three-time Super Bowl champion is arguably already one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game. His league record for single-season touchdowns by a tight end (18) still stands. He was the first tight end to ever eclipse 1,000 yards in the postseason and his 1,163 yards are the most by anyone at his position. He's also tied with Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten with his four 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Now, after taking a year off in retirement, Gronkowski feels better than ever.
"I feel rejuvenated," smiled Gronkowski. "My energy is back. I'm super excited to get back on the field and I feel like I'm ready to go."
You can watch the full interview on Ellen, airing Friday at 3 p.m. ET.