The event featured Monster Energy bull riders J.B. Mauney, Guilherme Marchi, Chase Outlaw, Derek Kolbaba and Gage Gay.
This was the fifth year Monster Energy has been the title sponsor of the New York City event hosted at the world’s most famous arena. The capacity crowds at Madison Square Garden saw the event winner earn a $100,000 paycheck and more than $250,000 in all.
The Monster event also gave the popular NFL star an opportunity to promote his Gronk beverage.
“Of course I’m not riding a bull,” said Gronkowski, who is only a few weeks removed from his second back surgery. This time to repair a herniated disc. “That’s pretty dangerous. That’s taking it to another level.”
He joked about “maybe” one day doing so after his playing days are over with. However, for the time being, he said, “Right now there’s no chance I’m getting on a bull.”
The Patriots had bi-week during the opening weekend of the NFL Playoffs, which gave Gronk an opportunity to make the 217-miles trip from Boston to New York with his father and younger brother.
His longtime friend and body guard Robert Goon, who did valiantly yet woefully and unsuccessfully attempt to ride a bull, also made the trip to the Monster Energy sponsored event at Madison Square Garden.
Gronkowski said he loved the bull riding action and, like so many other professional athletes, he simply described it as “crazy.”
Gronk and his entourage universally agreed there is no comparing bull riding and football—even at the professional level.
“(They’re) taking on a bull that’s 2,000 pounds,” explained Gronkowski, during an appearance on CBS Sports Network, “so that defender is a little bit bigger than what we face.”
An average offensive lineman weighs between 300 and 350 pounds, while Gronk faces 180- to-200-pound defenders in the backfield when he goes out on a passing route.
“These bulls are aggressive, they’re dangerous, they’re wild and it’s going to be great seeing them,” he said. “They look scary.”
While waiting to appear on a PBR pre-game show, Gronkowski unknowingly asked PBR co-founder and Ring of Honor member Cody Lambert, who was immortalized in the movie 8 Seconds, if he had ever ridden bulls.
“My first reaction was to say, ‘Have you ever caught a pass?’ Lambert said.
Gronk quickly laughed, “I love it man.”
And, yes, the Monster Energy tight end has caught a pass or two.