When the Buccaneers lured Rob Gronkowski out of retirement with a $10 million contract back in April in a trade with the Patriots, they didn’t know they were getting five Gronks for the price of one.
Who are we kidding? Of course, they did! The Gronk bros are a package deal. Even Bill Belichick was forced to drop his sour face and party with them at the Gronk Beach music festival ahead of Super Bowl LIV last February.
Now the future Hall of Fame tight end is out of retirement and firmly entrenched in Tampa Bay — back in his natural habitat catching passes from Tom Brady. But that doesn’t mean the party has to stop … in the offseason, of course.
Rob and his four brothers — Gordie Jr., Dan, Chris and Glenn (in descending order of age) — announced the launch of their own YouTube channel on Tuesday. “Why???” we hear you ask? Because social media just can’t capture all the antics these guys get up to, even during a pandemic. Plus there’s nothing the Gronkowski family likes more than really connecting with their fans: Rob has never turned down a single autograph or selfie request, and don’t even dare to challenge them to a dance off, as it’ll go DOWN.
The Gronks will have the rambunctious and competitive boys inviting subscribers into their entertaining lives by posting original video content showing everything from their infamous workouts, insane obstacle competitions, and sports showdowns.
SB Nation’s Debbie Emery did a Zoom interview with all the Gronkowski bros to get the scoop on their latest family business and it was as hilarious as you’d imagine — actually, it was much more manic than most of our imaginations even venture to go … With the brothers currently based in four locations (Rob in Tampa, Gordie Jr. in Boston, Dan in Buffalo, and Chris and Glenn both in Dallas), our 45-minute conversation included appearances from their kids, dogs, old high school friends, a competitive game of frisbee, a slip ‘n’ slide, forearm beer shots and a fast-approaching tornado in north Texas.
But don’t worry, none of that involved your new Bucs tight end, No. 87 was resting up at home getting ready to hit training camp hard on Monday morning.
Here are the highlights from our chat — be sure to watch the video interview in full below and subscribe to The Gronks on YouTube, which launched live on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET. (Apologies in advance for sibling trash talking and Dan, Chris and Glenn going AWOL for most of our Zoom!).
Where did the idea for the channel come from?
ROB: The idea of the channel is for us to go out, compete, have some fun and do some activities that we enjoy doing. I just did a TV show called Game On with Venus Williams, and Keegan-Michael Key was the host. We just competed doing silly things and it made us think “why don’t we just do a show where we compete with each other as brothers and do activities?” That’s what we’ve been doing our whole lives as kids — from mini-sticks to zoom zoom in the basement. That’s what is inspiring us, it’s a lot of fun and we’ve got a lot of great content from it over the summer doing silly games … It is more based around activities than actually competing — sometimes it’s a competition, sometimes it’s not.
We’ve filmed a lot already but obviously I’m not going to be able to do any of it during the season. My brothers will be doing more when they get together, then it’ll be “to be continued” with all of us … well not all of us because Dan never made the other ones anyway. There might be a question mark on Dan G. — he has to make an appearance soon! The official rules are probably you need at least three of us in each video.
What kind of “activities” have you done so far?
GORDIE: It could be trivia or some type of board game, paintball with teams, a fishing event or a home run derby. Every activity is different … we brothers have been so competitive as kids, and now to be able to do it together and show the world is cool as so many people can feel part of it with us. It makes us feel that we can give back to people and help inspire them.
Who killed it at trivia? We all saw Chris’ performance on Family Feud a few years ago …
ROB: Chris was not that good at trivia, I think he came in last place. He thinks he’s so smart because he graduated from the business school at Arizona, oh big deal! And I didn’t even get in, I was supposed to go to business school but it looked a little bit too hard so I changed up my major. He thinks he’s so smart then he goes into trivia and he was the worst one. His business Master’s didn’t do anything.
Is your buddy WWE superstar Mojo Rawley going to make an appearance?
GORDIE: We actually put Mojo in one of the best situations possible to be on our YouTube channel. There could not be a better host for some of the events that we’re doing. That dude is an absolute beast. He might have caught a few people before they went into (or over) the table as well — especially in the beer pong competition. Naomi who showed up at the event with some other girls from WWE. They didn’t successfully land on the table, and Mojo was there to save the day, we’ll just put it that way.
Is it going to be more fun now you’re in Tampa Bay instead of New England?
ROB: Totally, because we can go outside in December and November, the tailgating will be like a party because my brothers are the number one tailgaters. It’s kinda hard to throw a really big tailgate party — I’ve never been to one but I always hear about the hypeness of them — when it’s freezing cold outside. Now they can bring the Gronk Bus down and it’s going to be 75 out and sunny, so it just amps the tailgating game up to a whole new level.
GORDIE: It’s crazy that you’re talking about tailgating but you’ve never been to one …
ROB: I’m just saying clothing-wise in New England in December, there are a lot of girls with a lot of clothes on. Here in Florida, only half of the clothing will be on during tailgate parties. Maybe the next time I retire that can be the theme of one of the YouTube shows that we go and tailgate somewhere.
Was it tough to film during the pandemic?
GORDIE: It’s been a challenge … obviously with some of us having families and kids, so sometimes we have to do our own episodes. I’ve been shooting a lot of fitness videos that way people can follow ways to stay in shape through COVID. Four of us were able to get together and shoot a lot of the videos a couple of weeks ago. That was a blast, some of the episodes are absolutely insane.
We were down in Tampa and St. Pete … 52 miles off the coast in the ocean. There’s going to be some crazy epic stuff. We’ve also had opportunities to meet some incredible and inspiring people who will potentially change our lives and the way we look at things because of what they’re doing. It’s really exciting that we’re able to participate and do a lot of these activities with people who are changing the world already. I think people will be super exited to see what we’ve been doing … walking the wires, paintball jet-skiing, fishing, etc. has all been awesome
What was the toughest?
ROB: The hardest challenge was when we were jet-ski racing. Glenn was driving, he was trying to make some sharp turns on the obstacle course and the steer system wasn’t working properly. We were going really fast and he tried turning left, all of a sudden we just flipped the jet-ski and went flying 20 feet … I was on the back shooting paintballs. But I saved the paintball gun, I kept it up in the air when I landed in the water!
OK, down to actual football business — how do you feel being back at training camp?
ROB: It’s like being a rookie again, definitely. Learning a whole new playbook, a whole new system, a whole new team — it feels like I’m a rookie, but an experienced rookie. But it’s fun … a whole new challenge but it’s still football. You’ve got to get used to it again, used to the speed of the game when you haven’t been out there for a while. But overall things have been going good. Just got to keep taking one day at a time and keep taking steps forward, figure out what you’re doing wrong, then you correct it and you go out the next day and do it right.
My muscles are sore, my joints are sore, but overall my body feels good. I am out there every day running around, making plays, catching passes, blocking, getting trucked sometimes, getting hit. All good stuff. It’s football — you’re going to lay the wood sometimes and you’re going to get the wood laid on you.
Are we going to see Tom Brady on your YouTube channel?
ROB: Maybe after the season, because for me I’m not going to really be able to shoot that much more ‘til then. Maybe we can do a contest on who can catch passes from Brady when he’s throwing full speed at us … with all of us standing at 10 yards away. Or they can stack us so we’re all even to make it fair while he guns passes full speed. That’d be clever!
How was it reuniting with Brady?
ROB: It was great, just like the old days. It feels like we never took any time off. Being together for nine years, you build up a chemistry that will probably last forever in terms of being out on the field and knowing each other’s game and movements. Just felt like the old days out there and felt good.
Is Julian Edelman jealous you two are playing together again?
ROB: We miss Edelman, he was a great player throughout the year and his football game was special. I think he does miss us though, I can tell he does!
You had Belichick at Gronk Beach in Miami in February, are you going to get Bruce Arians out to any parties?
ROB: Right now, during the season with everything going on, it’s gonna be tough because that party happened before the pandemic. Maybe in the future after the season at some point, we just never know, we don’t plan on anything like that. We let everything go with the flow.
Well, Super Bowl LV is in Tampa next year…
ROB: Gord will have the limo bus, the action will be the same but with less clothing and the party will be jumping. It’ll be 80 degrees, there’ll be boats, bikinis, and the Gronk Bus with Gord and Mojo representing the YouTube channel.
You play in Las Vegas this season too, are you hyped about?
ROB: The Raiders is going to be a cool game because it’s a brand-new stadium, it’s in Vegas so we’ll be hyped about that. Hopefully the pandemic ends and there will be fans.
The Gronks channel is managed by Human Media Group. OneTeam Partners will bring its deep roots in sports, marketing, and media to bear in support of the new channel. Collectively the partnership will bring unprecedented, never before seen content.
Human Media Group (HMG) is a creator and influencer management company based out of Tampa, Florida. HMG provides experienced management services and valuable insight to help their clients in expanding their business and reach, securing sponsorship and brand opportunities and activations, and creating high-level, must-see content, all while remaining authentic to the client’s brand.
OneTeam Partners is a joint venture between the NFL Players Association, MLB Players Association, and RedBird Capital Partners. OneTeam helps athletes maximize the value of their rights and grow their brands by transforming the way in which all athletes interact with businesses across several verticals including group licensing, athlete marketing, media, and venture investing.