TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Work hard, play harder, right? That seems to be the motto for former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, NFL star Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski.
The retired tight end opened up on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” about how he thinks partying made him a superstar in the NFL.
Gronk credited his hometown of Buffalo, New York, for molding him into the person he is today.
“I just had a good time growing up. I’m from Buffalo,” Gronk told Fallon. “Bills Mafia, they’re tailgating, jumping off RVs into tables, breaking open. That’s how I grew up. We love to have a good time.”
He added he would tell everyone that he’s a “better player out on the field” if he parties.
“Well, I’m carrying my friends, you know, throughout the bar. I’m holding them up! I’m lifting. I’m curling them! There on my back, I’m jumping up and down! I’m dancing the whole time. Kinda like Austin Butler. I’m gyrating!” Gronk told Fallon.
Gronk joked that he realized all the bar “workouts” from carrying his friends around “translated to the football field.”
“Yeah, of course it does,” Fallon jokingly agreed.
Although Gronkowski ended his career in Tampa Bay alongside friend and former New England Patriots teammate Tom Brady, Fallon asked the question everyone has been wondering, would Gronk make a return to the playing field?
“How close were you to suiting up again this season?” Fallon asked.
Gronk revealed he was “kinda close” to making a comeback, adding that he “missed it sometimes.”
Fans across the NFL speculated this could be the case after Gronk tweeted he was “bored” back in December, sparking rumors that he could return and possibly join Brady once again.
“I missed it sometimes, but not really. Then I’d miss it for like an hour, and then I would go workout, and then I’d be like, ‘Nah, I don’t miss it. I don’t even have the energy to work out,'” he told Fallon.
He also revealed that he had a few phone calls towards the end of the season, adding that he took them seriously.
Gronk, who first retired in 2019, eventually returned to the game to join Brady and the Buccaneers and win another Super Bowl ring in 2020. He officially retired again back in June 2022.
“I took a five day period to see if I really wanted to go back,” Gronk shared with Fallon. He explained that he’s been an athlete his whole life and that it was something he had to consider for the opportunity alone.
He told Fallon that he didn’t think about returning to football once during the five days and informed the teams that he wouldn’t be suiting up anytime soon.
In addition to teams wanting him back, Gronk told Fallon that even Brady tried to persuade him into making a return to the Buccaneers, but he still had to pass.
“He definitely supports me throughout the year, if I’m playing football or not playing football,” Gronk said.