So Gronk! You’ve been working with Monster for a few years now, what’s it been like?
Monster’s great, I just love their whole philosophy, of what they represent… to bring that energy — that’s what I’m all about. Life is energy, and that’s what Monster is all about, bringing that energy to the next level. Everyone here from top to bottom, all happy-go-lucky people, always smiling. And any time I’m at an event, it’s always a great atmosphere, a fun atmosphere, and plenty of action.
I believe you’re hosting a training session for Hydro in November in Tampa?
Yes! We’re doing a contest, you enter online, and you can win a chance to do a workout session with myself. I love doing that, that’s what I really like to do, when I get to engage with my fans. Doing an activity; meeting them is cool, sitting dinner is alright, but I’m the kind of guy that wants to do an activity with someone. Get them a little workout, get the juices flowing, get the adrenaline going. So you have a chance to win a workout with myself at the TB12 Center up in Tampa, it’ll be cool. You’ll also be learning about Tom Brady’s Method, cause that’s the kind of workout we’re gonna be doing. It’s a twofer: I get a workout, and I get to meet the winners!
You’re obviously still amazingly fit — has your workout routine lessened at all since retirement?
It lessened in a different way; it’s not so much football specific… when you’re playing, you’re working out your routes, your blocking, etc. But I love to stay fit, I love to stay active. So I’ve been doing a lot of activities; I do a good lift about once or twice a week, to keep my mass, keep my strength. I also do a lot of agility type of workouts, to keep my movement going. I love to be able to compete if I’m doing an activity.
I’ve been doing a lot of basketball as well. Basketball’s a whole different aspect in terms of skills… also, the cardio game. It was tough, the first couple of practices I did for basketball, I mean, the cardio is just a whole different level, it’s non-stop. But overall, just playing though? It takes your skill level to another level, you just learn so much about yourself, and about your body, just playing the game of basketball.
Would you consider doing a Michael Jordan and trying to crush another sport?
I’m not at Michael Jordan’s level which is being able to crush another sport and go pro at it. But I can definitely see myself doing other sports, you know, for fun and to keep myself in shape, keep myself active.
I saw you on the pickleball court! Pretty impressive!
I love doing pickleball! That’s another one that’s a good workout right there, some good cardio. Pickleball, basketball… what else? I play volleyball, great sport. I’d love to get on the ice and play some hockey. You know, I grew up in Buffalo, so I played all the way ‘til I was a freshman in high school, which was fun. What others? There’s cornhole! I love those activities where it’s your off day when you’re at a party, just to get the party going. I just love any game and competing. Especially if it’s versus family and friends, it’s always great.
Tell me a bit about your charity. There are obviously lots of great charitable causes out there, including children, which your fantastic organization focuses on. Why is that so close to your heart?
The Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, started it a couple of years ago, my family and I. I was doing so many charities at the beginning of my career, and it was becoming a lot, so I just was like: ‘Why don’t I just start my own?’ People are asking me ‘Hey Rob, where can we donate, can we donate to your favorite charity?’ So I started my own, and instead of telling people where to donate, I can have it come to my charity.
So I started the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, because I feel like my childhood was special. You know, I had four brothers growing up, I had all their friends on the street to play with… I had opportunity to grow throughout my childhood. I had people to play with, I had equipment, I had parks to go to, I had organizations to play in. I want every kid to have that opportunity. Obviously, I’m not going to be able to touch every life, but I wanted to help out as many kids as I possibly could, and give them opportunities to have equipment, to have a park, so that they can go play — and stay away from the bad things that are going on — and learn about the good things, like how to work together as a team.
Have you and Camille ever talked about having any of your own?
Kids? Oh yes. We definitely both love kids, and she would be a great mother. My brother had four kids, my other brother has four kids… we love to be the great aunt and uncle! And then we walk away, and we’re both ‘I don’t know if we’re ready for that… we’re not ready!’
We do have a dog [the adorable Ralphie, who is at that very moment barking at a giant stuffed polar bear in the Monster Studio] and he’s a great child to have. He’s a great boy to bring around, that’s kinda like having a child right now. So that’s our first step!
Do you miss football? Do you still watch it?
I’ll watch football for sure. I mean, I don’t watch it 24/7, but I definitely keep up with it. I don’t watch every single game, but I keep up with what’s going on. I miss it, a little bit. What I miss most about it is being with the guys in the locker room. You really can’t get that camaraderie anywhere else. You have 52 guys who are going to battle with you every single week… just the friendships and the relationships you build throughout the years, that’s what I definitely miss. I definitely call some of my teammates every once in a while… we get on Facetime and just banter back and forth and rip on each other. That’s what it’s all about in the locker room.
I know you are probably sick of this question, but is there any chance you would return?
I don’t think so. I mean, I’m out of football now… but I’m still in shape. I could definitely do it, for sure. But you know, I’m enjoying my time, man. I don’t really feel like I need to go back and play.
Ok, hypothetically: let’s say you were forced to go back — someone was holding Ralphie hostage. You had to go back to the NFL… but it couldn’t be the Buccaneers or the Patriots. Who would you play for?
Wow…. That’s a great question. (laughs) If someone held my dog hostage, and the only way I could get him back was I had to go back and play — but it couldn’t be the Pats or the Bucs — I would say… it would be my hometown team where I grew up. It would be the Buffalo Bills. No doubt about that.
So now that the greatest tight end of our time has retired — who’s the next best thing?
I would say I’m definitely up there! (laughs). There’s a top couple up there, you can rank us back and forth. Definitely Travis Kelce, who’s still going. He’s just a great player.
[“Mark Andrews is a great player!” someone shouts]
[Andrews] needs to keep going, put a couple more years under his belt. Obviously, Tony Gonzales is still up there. And also Antonio Gates.
You’re an absolute gentleman Rob — thank you so much for coming to hang out with us today!