Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski hauled in a team-high six receptions for 67 yards with two touchdowns in the team’s dominating 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Sunday night.
Gronkowski, who returned to the NFL after retiring for one season, was approached by quarterback Tom Brady in the offseason, and he asked him to come out of retirement and join him on the Buccaneers, after the two played together for a decade in New England.
For the first time since 2011, which was his second season in the NFL, Gronkowski played in every single game for the Bucs. During his career, he suffered a handful of brutal injuries, which included damage to his ankle ligaments, a broken arm, a re-break of that same arm, a torn ACL, and back surgeries.
Gronkowski remembered exactly how he felt after his last Super Bowl victory, when the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in 2018. And how he feels now after the team’s win on Sunday against the Chiefs, is night and day from how he felt back then.
“I remember after that win I was so done coming off the field,” Gronkowski recalled. “I was like, I’m just glad it’s over. The pain I was in too. It was great to be a champ, but it was great to be done. To come out of retirement, I retired from being retired, which is pretty cool, and coming down here — I saw this opportunity, I love Florida, it was an opportunity to be in great weather, wear t-shirts and shorts every day to work, that’s my style.
“What a start to the journey, what a finish to the journey.”
In 2020, Gronkowski had 45 catches for 623 yards and seven touchdowns in his return to the gridiron. His numbers this season weren’t close to what they were when he was an All-Pro during the prime of his career, but Gronkowski played arguably his best game when it mattered most.
“You know, it feels amazing. It feels tremendous. Unbelievable story,” Gronkowski said. “The first time a team going to the Super Bowl in its home town, that story is surreal.
“But the most important storyline is how everyone worked together. Everyone contributed. It’s just amazing. What a year it was playing with these guys. What a year. I can’t say that enough.”