The good, the bad and the goofy: A primer on Rob Gronkowski

One of the most dangerous tight ends, and outrageous characters, in NFL history is headed to Tampa Bay.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is sure to bring flamboyance with his coveted pass-catching skills to Tampa.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is sure to bring flamboyance with his coveted pass-catching skills to Tampa. [ MARK HUMPHREY | Associated Press (2012) ]
Published April 21, 2020|Updated April 21, 2020

Evidently, one GOAT wasn’t enough for Bruce Arians and the Bucs. On Tuesday, they added another. Sort of.

Goofiest of All Time. Along with Hall of Fame credentials, tight end Rob Gronkowski brings flamboyance, charisma, controversy and some eccentricity to his new team. Here are a few professional, personal factoids about Gronk that you may not know ― or may not even believe:

• In his 2015 book, It’s Good to be Gronk, Gronkowski said at the outset of his career, he decided to save all his NFL paychecks and live off endorsement money instead. “The whole point of saving throughout my NFL career was to be set for after football because you don’t know how long football will last,” he told CNBC’s Make It in January.

• To the surprise of exactly no one, he was unveiled as the “White Tiger” on Fox’s The Masked Singer earlier this month. Gronkowski had performed Good Vibrations, Ice Ice Baby and I’m Too Sexy ― from early-1990s one-hit wonder Right Said Fred ― on the program.

• He signed with WWE earlier this year, and hosted both nights of WrestleMania 36, staged in an empty Orlando training center before a pay-per-view audience. On the second night, he won the WWE’s 24/7 title from pal Mojo Rawley.

• He drew backlash at Super Bowl LIII media day two seasons ago when asked the percentage of his chance of returning the following season. “You guys know my favorite number. You know what I’m talking about. She knows what number I’m talking about,” Gronkowski said, pointing to a female reporter. “Ask her. That’s the answer.” He later made a thinly-veiled reference to the number 69.

• Speaking of saucy numbers, Gronkowski is minority owner of a racehorse named after him. That horse broke out dead last in the 2018 Belmont Stakes but stormed back to finish second despite going off at odds of ― you guessed it ― 69-1.

Related: Bucs found a guy to keep the party going. It's Gronk!

• He graduated with honors from Woodland Hills High in Pittsburgh, earning a 1560 ― 40 points shy of a perfect score ― on the SAT.

• Four years ago, a Fox Sports 1 female reporter invited him to give her a lap dance on a program with a studio audience. Gronk obliged. (The reporter, Julie Stewart-Binks, was criticized heavily by other female journalists.)

• Early in his Patriots career, photos of him and porn star BiBi Jones (she was wearing his No. 87 Pats jersey) went viral on media. Gronkowski later said he posed with her (he was bare-chested in one of the photos) to increase his number of Twitter followers.

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• Three of his four brothers ― Dan, Chris and Glenn ― have appeared in an NFL game. Since the NFL-AFL merger, only the Browners have also had four brothers play in an NFL contest.

• His mom, Diane Gronkowski-Walters, resides in a gated community in Fort Myers.

• In the summer of 2014, he reportedly purchased a bus from a Long Island church, renovated it into a party-mobile and nicknamed it the Sinners Bus.

• Widely lauded for his charitable endeavors, Gronkowski and longtime girlfriend Camille Kostek recently donated 10,000 masks each to a pair of New England medical facilities to assist in the fight against the coronavirus


When the @wwe 24/7 title holder & the white tiger on @maskedsingerfox asks you to teach him a new @tiktok dance ... you get this 😂 @robgronkowski

♬ Funky Town - The Dance Queen Group

Gronk by the numbers

1 Erotica novel inspired by Gronkowski. A Gronking To Remember was published in 2014; he read parts of it on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

2 Career rushing yards, on one carry in 2011

4 Fumbles, with three lost (and none in 16 postseason games), in his nine-year career, which should make Bruce Arians quite happy in the post-Jameis Winston era

5 Years he has been in a relationship with Kostek, an American model and actor

6 Movies in which Gronkowski has appeared. One of them, Boss Level (starring Mel Gibson), hasn’t been released

12 Postseason touchdown receptions by Gronkowski, most by a tight end

23 Super Bowl receptions by Gronkowski, most by a tight end

60 Calculated speed (in miles per hour), that the ball leaves Gronkowski’s hand on his signature Gronk Spike, according to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

90 Gronkowski’s single-season high in receptions in 2011, when he also had career highs in yards (1,327) and touchdowns (17)

1,163 Postseason receiving yards by Gronkowski, most by a tight end