After starring with two touchdowns in Sunday’s Super Bowl triumph over AFC Champion Kansas City, fan favorite Rob Gronkowski predictably made the late-night rounds, appearing on both Jimmy Fallon and James Corden’s talk shows Tuesday night. Gronk, who returned to the gridiron after a short-lived retirement in 2019, is headed for free agency, though the Bucs veteran is confident he’ll remain in Tampa beyond this season.
“I don’t see why I won’t be back with the Bucs,” the 31-year-old said during his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. “Maybe I’ll retire just so I don’t do training camp. And then I’ll come back like a week before the season, ‘Will you guys take me back?’” This comes on the heels of Gronk admitting to blowing off his “virtual workouts” with the Bucs last offseason, changing his outfits to trick the coaching staff into thinking he was training every day.
Sunday’s rout of KC gave the 6’6” tight end an opportunity to showcase his signature “Gronk Spike,” one of the NFL’s most iconic touchdown celebrations. The five-time Pro Bowler gave Jimmy a helpful tutorial on how to pull off the perfect Gronk Spike, but not before warning him of the perils he might face. “I’ve had it before where it came back at me and hit me right in the you know where.”
We know the hard-partying Gronk will throw back an adult beverage every now and then, and that was certainly the case Sunday night after hoisting his fourth Lombardi Trophy. But has he ever seen his longtime teammate Tom Brady cut loose? “We’ve never really hit it like that,” Gronk admitted in his chat with James Corden, host of The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS. “We’ve got a pretty significant age difference if you really think about it. When I got into the NFL, I was 20 years old. He was 32 years old and married.”
Sunday’s Super Bowl festivities in Tampa included a streaker, which apparently Gronk very much enjoyed. “I was on the sideline like, ‘Yes! This is what we needed. This streaker’s amazing.’ It was entertainment. That slide into the end zone was pretty incredible. He had a couple jukes too,” said Gronkowski in admiration of the streaker’s surprising athleticism. “Then I thought he was going to pull down his pants. I was like, ‘No man, you’re going too far with this.’ And then he had a thong on, like a thong, bathing-suit-type thing, like a one piece. I was like, ‘Ah, man. This guy was prepared, he was ready for the moment.’”
Gronk was a relative non-factor for the Bucs early in the year—his first touchdown didn’t come until Week 6—but obviously he saved his best for last. “The first couple weeks I was iffy a little bit when I was going out there, because when you’re thinking about what you have to do you, you can’t play your best football. You’re not just going out there and being automatic,” recalls Gronkowski, describing the challenge he faced learning a new offense on the fly. “But a couple more weeks into the season, I started picking up the playbook like it was second nature.”
Since the final whistle of Super Bowl LV, it’s been one big cheat day for Gronkowski, who rewarded himself with a delicious cheeseburger (ironically, Andy Reid’s preferred post-game meal) after beating the Chiefs. “Yesterday and today, I’ve been splurging all day. I just had a burger, tater tots, sweet potato fries. You name it, I’ve been eating it for the last two days.”
We’ll see what theatrics the larger-than-life tight end has in store for Wednesday’s Super Bowl parade in Tampa, which kicks off at 1 PM ET.