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PHOENIX – Let’s put journalistic objectivity aside for a second. I would have liked to be Rob Gronkowski’s teammate to join his competitive side and see him crush the competition in his best years, but especially to hear him talk about football and any other subject.
Gronkowski is and always will be a phenomenon. Tuesday was the third occasion in three years that he has been asked questions on a multitude of subjects and he always finds an interesting twist to answer.
At the end of January 2020, on the sidelines of the Super Bowl won by the Chiefs against the 49ers, Gronk said that if Tom Brady put on a different uniform than that of the Patriots, it would be like seeing Santa Claus dressed in green. A year later, in February 2021, via a videoconference, he had fun imitating the French accent of Antony Auclair.
This time around, the former tight end – as he claims to have closed the door on a return for good like Brady – was sensational in his answers about Brady’s next career as an analyst and his pal’s exploits. Travis Kelce.
Truth be told, the only thing that could bring him out of retirement again would be a kicking job! Because yes, Gronk is actively training these days for the first live commercial in Super Bowl history. The concept will have him attempt a field goal from 25 yards and, if he succeeds in his mission, the FanDuel site will give away 10 million in free sports bets to those who bet on the match.
“I’m kicking investments now!” It’s much easier on the body, I understand why kickers can play until 48 like Adam Vinatieri, the lucky ones! “, he launched, laughing.
“My leg is fine. It’s really fun as a project. I was able to train with Vinatieri, another Patriots legend. I was so bad on my first day of practice that he just nodded. He couldn’t even give me advice, it was so horrible, ”said the talkative interlocutor.
“What I can say is that I have a lot more respect now for kickers. It’s really, really difficult. Even the convert is 33 yards out now, wow,” added Gronk, who recalls making a 28-yard field goal during his high school run.
Never short of jokes, Gronkowski teased Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he might return as a kicker when Brett Maher was no longer able to aim between the posts for Dallas.
A Brady-Gronk duo on TV?
The chemistry was so good on the pitch between Brady and Gronkowski that it would be silly not to capitalize on that in the media world. By a wonderful combination of circumstances, the two former teammates in New England and with Tampa Bay are linked to the FOX network.
Brady is expected to begin this new, highly paid professional chapter in 2024 in order to have time to get a few months off football and get to grips with his new trade.
“I found it very clever. After all, he just played football for what, 25 years? (23 years in the NFL). Going directly into the commentary booth would probably have been a bit too much. He will be able to spend time with his wonderful children. Anyway, his knowledge will always be at the top, “noted the one who wore the number 87.
“The only advice I can give him, if you will, is to study well, because it requires a lot of preparation, much more than you might think,” he added.
But Gronk knows it will. A perfectionist at heart, Brady is aware that he will be watched closely in his new role.
“Tom is going to be good, just with his knowledge of football which is just on another level! I’ve learned so much from him over the years,” Gronk said.
While he’s remained humble in front of the media throughout his career, Brady has let his personality emerge on social media over the years.
“He was playing a team sport, he never wanted to draw all the attention to himself. It was something to respect on his part. He didn’t want to bury what matters above all, to win the match. »
Already, many are wondering when FOX will bring these two stars together in a concept that could be similar to that of the brothers Peyton and Eli Manning.
“It’s definitely a possibility, we’ve been together for so long. But no project has been discussed in this direction for the moment. I am convinced that ideas will arise, ”reacted the 33-year-old man.
At this age, it’s normal for rumors to persist about him. But Gronk didn’t deny talking to the Buffalo Bills. Since Brady opted to retire, coming back with the Bills would have been his choice if he had had the desire to put the cleats back on.
“I love the way Josh (Allen, Bills quarterback) plays and how he managed to rally the entire Buffalo area,” said the native of this city.
“Hello defenses, are you going to cover Kelce? »
You thought that was it. Oh no, it was enough to mention Kelce’s name to fire him up again.
“It’s so impressive that he is able to get better year after year. The vast majority of players are starting to decline, but he’s only progressing. It’s hard to understand mentally, it’s crazy. His stats are climbing as he is more watched than ever,” Gronk stated.
In his eyes, it proves above all that Kelce masters the understanding of the game perfectly.
“Sometimes knowledge sets you free more than talent. What he accomplishes for the tight end position is exceptional. He is a different specimen,” he said.
But then, who is the greatest, or the GOAT as they say in English, between him and Kelce, at this position?
“I would say that’s up to you to debate that,” Gronk retorted on the one topic he dodged.
Except for the differing style, Gronkowski sees a panoply of similarities between the chemistry between Kelce and Patrick Mahomes compared to his with Brady.
“Travis is his comforter like I was Brady’s,” he summed up wonderfully.
But the 2022 season promised to be demanding for Kelce with the departure of Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. He didn’t expect Kelce to set new career highs for yards (1,338) and touchdowns (12) this year.
“That’s one thing that surprised me a bit. In fact, it just goes to show how good he is. I spoke with Travis the other day, wanted to know his state of mind after the Tyreek trade. He told me that it was a challenge he had never experienced in his career.
“It required him and Mahomes to recreate the Chiefs offense to make up for his loss. In the end, it makes me say that he was probably a little in the shadows before when he was supported by the best receiver in the NFL.
“Hello, tusks! Are you going to end up covering for Travis. That’s how good he is,” Gronk submitted.
Even if he praised the Chiefs player for a few minutes, don’t tell him that Kansas City would become a dynasty by winning this Super Bowl, a second in four years.
“To call it a dynasty, the Chiefs would have to win this game and then dominate for another 10 years. But what, that’s it no. The Patriots have dominated for almost 20 years, ”concluded the sympathetic retiree.