1. Friends – and everyone else – call him Gronk.
In fact, raise your hand if you only knew him as Gronk and couldn't spell his last name to save your life.
2. He retired from football after the 2018 season.
Gronk spent last season pursuing other ventures outside of football after a decorated nine-year career. He has a racehorse aptly named "Gronkowski." He hosted Gronk Beach at this year's Super Bowl in Miami. Many thought the WWE thing would stick. Instead, he informed the Patriots, who owned his rights, he'd like to return to football and he wanted to do it with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. And now, he's here via trade, with the Buccaneers giving up a fourth-round pick for the superstar tight end.
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3. He's the reigning WWE 24/7 Champion
Gronk spent last year in 'retirement' where he explored other ventures – including the WWE. In this year's abridged version of Wrestlemania, Gronk was tapped as an announcer before then getting in there himself and taking home the 24/7 title. The 24/7 belt is defended any time, anywhere. Its inaugural winner was WWE Superstar and Tampa resident Titus O'Neil in 2019.
4. He's also won three Super Bowls
Gronk has three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots and Tom Brady: XLIX, LI and LIII, though he was injured for Super Bowl LI. He's played in a total of four and actually had his best performance statistically in the Patriots' losing effort against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. Gronk had 116 yards on nine receptions and two touchdowns.
5. Gronk has been selected to five Pro Bowls and earned All-Pro honors four times over the course of his nine-year career.
Like Brady, he spent his entire career up until this point in New England. Also like Brady, he's widely regarded as the Greatest of All Time at his position. Gronk holds numerous NFL records, too. In 2011, he became the only tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns with 17, which is the NFL record for most by a tight end in a single season. He added one more that year on the ground to give him the most total touchdowns by a tight end in a single season, too. He recorded the most offensive touchdowns in his first two seasons with 28, which ties Randy Moss. He has so many tight end records, I'm just going to list some of them:
-Most seasons with 10+ touchdowns (5)
-Most career average receiving yards per game (68.3)
-Most career touchdowns per game average (.69) (nice)
-Tied with Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten for most seasons with 1,000 yards receiving (4)
-And more… a lot more.
6. He coined the 'Gronk Spike' that many players now emulate when they score.
Gronk's infamous touchdown celebration depicted above has become something of a cult classic among football fans and even players. Each time he scores, he slams the ball to the ground aggressively and it's great. I may or may not be teaching my nephew, who isn't even two yet, to Gronk spike and have videos to prove it.
7. Gronk played college football at University of Arizona
As much as it may personally pain me to relive this part of Gronk's career, he was pretty good in college. He was selected in the second round by the Patriots only because he missed his junior season for the Wildcats with injury. Prior to that, he totaled 1,197 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns from 2007-2008. He owns a split record in the Territorial Cup against Arizona State. The Sun Devils took it home in 2007 with the Wildcats getting it back in 2008, which would end up being his last year before sitting out with injury and declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft.
Side note: the pick the Patriots used to take Gronk actually originated as the Chicago Bears' second-round pick. It was traded to the Buccaneers for Gaines Adams in October of 2009. The Bucs then traded that pick to the Raiders during the 2010 draft, where it then changed hands again to land in the Patriots' possession.
8. He's originally from Amherst, New York but played high school football outside of Pittsburgh and comes from a long line of athletes. His father played guard at the University of Syracuse before founding a high-end fitness equipment business. His great-grandfather represented the United States in cycling during the 1924 Summer Olympics held in Paris, France and held five world records in the sport. Gronk has four brothers, all of whom played collegiate sports and some, professionally.
9. He's a New York Times best-selling author with his It's Good to be Gronk memoir. He's actually famous for living off his endorsements and not touching his contract money while with the Patriots, which he reveals in the book. Those endorsements include everything from Tide laundry detergent to Nike to partnering with a CBD oil company.
10. Gronk has made cameos in various TV shows and movies.
He played himself in the Entourage movie in 2015. He played a police officer in the movie You Can't Have It in 2017. On TV, he was on a Family Guy episode titled 'Gronkowsbees'. He was also on The Masked Singer this past year as well as Gordan Ramsey's 24 Hours to Hell and Back, in addition to his appearances with the WWE during WWE SmackDown and Wrestlemania 36. He's also been in music videos for Katy Petty's "Swish Swish" featuring Nicki Minaj, "On My Mind" by 3LAU and most recently, he was in Kygo's video for "I'll Wait" with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model girlfriend Camille Kostek.
View pictures from TE Rob Gronkowski's NFL career thus far.