WARSAW, POLAND – Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face defending champions Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Sunday with Polish American NFL superstar Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to join his former New England teammate in Florida, aiming to win the Super Bowl for the fourth time.
One of football’s most popular players and “America’s most Athletic Polish”, according to Family Guy‘s Peter Griffin, tight end Rob Gronkowski came back to the sport after retiring from the NFL at 29 years old, in 2019, saying that the pain and injuries he had suffered throughout his career had taken a toll on his mental health.
“I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down, and I didn’t like it. I was losing that joy in life… Physically, I could do it. Mentally-wise, desire-wise, it’s not there…” He told ESPN. “I am very satisfied with where I am in life right now. I truly believe going through those tough times, nine years, off the field, on the field, has brought me to this point. I believe I’m on the right path in my life.”
A four-time First Team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, the Patriots’ delightfully gooberish and uniquely gifted tight end, caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 games from 2010 to 2018, during which he won the Super Bowl three times.
Known for his larger-than-life personality, on and off the field, the 31-year-old, who famously stated that partying has made him a better player, is regarded by many sports analysts, writers, and peers as not only one of football’s finest players but the greatest tight end to ever play the game.
Highly regarded among the Polish-American community and often described as “probably the most beloved guy in the NFL”, Rob Gronkowski was named Am-Pol Eagle Citizen of the Year in 2010 by the weekly Polish American newspaper the Am-Pol Eagle.
But in April, the New England Patriots, which still held Gronkowski’s rights, traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a compensatory fourth round pick in the NFL Draft.
The trade reunited him with his former Patriots teammate Tom Brady, who had signed with the Buccaneers a month prior and had reportedly been adamant for the team to trade for Gronkowski.
Gronkowski’s 29-yard catch towards the end of the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game set up the critical lead-extending field goal for Ryan Succop, which secured the Buccaneers’ first Super Bowl appearance since 2002.
But for once in their career, Tom Brady, who is also part Polish, and Rob Gronkowski will be the underdogs with defending champions Kansas City Chiefs and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes being this year’s Super Bowl favorites.