Football 101: No. 43, Rob Gronkowski
We continue with our weekly roundups of the next players in the Football 101—my personal countdown of the greatest players in pro football history. Thanks for reading, and for those who aren’t subscribers, I hope you’ll consider joining!
A few years ago, my friend Chris Jones wrote a fantastic story about Gordy Gronkowski, the patriarch of the incredible Gronkowski family. Five sons. Four played in the NFL. One played minor league baseball. All of them played the most violent version of their particular games — two Gronk tight ends, one Gronk fullback, one Gronk smashmouth running back and a Gronk slugging designated hitter.
It is definitely a type, being a Gronkowski.
If you didn’t know, you would probably guess that the Gronkowskis grew up in Buffalo. That seems like the right city for Gronks. And they did.
If you didn’t know, you would probably guess that the Gronkowski brothers probably had a great grandfather named, I don’t know, Iggy, who lived his whole life in Buffalo and made it to the Olympics as, oh, let’s say as a cyclist.
Yeah. That’s all true.
If you didn’t know, you would probably guess that Gordy Gronkowski and his brother (who probably also had a G name of some type like “Glenn Gronkowski”) opened up a chain of fitness stores called something like G&G Fitness. And, furthermore, you’d guess they probably had a bunch of that fitness equipment in their basement and the Gronk brothers all tried to outdo each other on the machines. And that they would play ferociously and violently against each other in every sport imaginable.
“Usually, furniture ends up getting broken,” is probably how Gordie Gronkowski would talk about those games.
And that’s all true too.