Fans hoping for a change of heart from recently retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski got some bad news on Sunday.
It turns out that the party bus that is Gronk’s football career has been parked for good.
Gronkowski was at Gillette Stadium on Sunday for the One Mission Buzz Off for Kids, a charity event for kids with cancer, and of course, everyone wanted to know if Gronkowski was truly done with his career.
“Oh man! Whatever I say, it doesn’t matter. It will always be crazy out there, but you can put them to rest,” he said, according to ESPN. “I’m feeling good. [In a] good place. It’s great to be back here.”
The 30-year-old suffered a slew of injuries throughout his career, missing meaningful time during four of his nine seasons in the league.
When he was healthy, though, Gronkowski was a five-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-Team All-Pro and three-time Super Bowl champion (although he missed Super Bowl LI due to injury).
And even though he was named Comeback Player of the Year following the 2013-14 season, one comeback was enough.
Gronkowski, sporting a shaved head in support of kids with cancer, has served as an ambassador at the One Mission Buzz Off event for nine years, and his infectious enthusiasm for life has been an inspiration whenever he’s appeared.
Gronkowski did say that being back at Gillette Stadium reminded him “there will always be family here, and it will always be home here.”
Speaking of charity events, Gronkowski said he hopes to attend more of them now that he is free of the rigors of professional football.
“I love the New England community. It’s something special, all the support through many, many years of playing. The support of just not on the field, but off the field as well. New England will always be special, always have a big part in my heart, and always have much love,” he said.
“It’s great to continue giving back. Just because I’m not playing any more doesn’t mean you can’t give back. You can do more, actually.”
Of course, no Gronkowski story is complete without the literal party bus that the former tight end brings to events.
This one was no different, as kids got a chance to take a tour of a bus marked “Get Your Gronk On.”
Welcome to the Gronk Bus, which arrived early at Gillette Stadium for this morning’s One Mission Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer. This is the 10th year for @buzzforkids, a great event, and the 9th year @RobGronkowski has been an ambassador. pic.twitter.com/FVGJFB3oUu
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 2, 2019
When he announced his retirement in March, Gronkowki thanked the Patriots and their notoriously taciturn coach, Bill Belichick, for “drafting my silliness” in the second round in 2010.
I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences, relationships and championships over the last 9 years have been amazing! pic.twitter.com/DAMM9wMVxb
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) March 25, 2019
So it looks like Gronkowski is going to stay retired, much to the chagrin not just of fans but of quarterback Tom Brady, whose 78 touchdown passes to Gronkowski are far more than he’s thrown to any other receiver in his nearly two-decade-long NFL career.
Tom Brady is playing with all of us… or does he know? pic.twitter.com/DKP58Igrou
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) April 1, 2019
On the bright side, a lot of kids get to look forward to whatever other great charity events Gronkowski will now be part of.
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