TAMPA, Fla. — For Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski this season has been extra special.
Not only does he get to play for a championship in Super Bowl LV, over the last nine months he’s been able to spend quality time with Mom like never before.
“For him to come here, and be only two hours away, oh my gosh, that is so great,” Rob’s mom Diane Gronkowski said.
Diane lives in Fort Myers, her home for the last 11 years. For the first time in Rob’s professional football career, she gets to see her son on a weekly basis.
“I go to his home game, maybe stay overnight with him at his place,” Diane said. “If it’s an away game, he flies in that night, drives in the next day, has dinner, gets a good night’s sleep, has breakfast, and head back. I see him every week, home or away.”
Now there’s more togetherness, something that was impossible when he played with the New England Patriots.
“When I’m leaving her house this morning, she has a whole bag packed with drinks for me, a breakfast sandwich for me, she is still on top of her game,” Rob said.
Reporter: He’s funny, he’s goofy. Does he get that from you?
“That comes from Rob,” Diane said. “That’s just him. In my mind, I’m thinking he is the fourth of five boys. When he was born the oldest was five, the next one was four, then two. When he was born, in order to get attention, he had to do something to get attention. Then all his brothers laughed at him and thought he was wonderful.”
That exuberant personality also comes across on the field.
“I think he loves doing the spike,” Diane said. “You know, coming up with a different version of it. He started the spike after college because he couldn’t do it in college. He just loves doing that.”
During COVID-19 quarantine, Rob picked up a new skill that Mom would like to see the next time he finds the end zone.
“He learned to juggle. So I’m waiting for him to decide after he gets a touchdown, get three footballs, and start juggling them after a touchdown,” Diane said.
Maybe that will come Sunday, until then she leaves her son with the same message before every game.
“I just text him the day of his game. I just say ‘good luck, have fun.’”
And, that has never been a problem.