2020-04-27

“Threw him out of the club.”

Trash talk is pretty common in sports regardless of whether it involves two third graders facing off in a high-stakes game of recess kickball or a bunch of adults who are paid millions of dollars a year to chase a ball across a field. The responses to trash talk are also pretty expected regardless of the player’s ages. The one being trash talked is determined to win. They are also determined to rub their opponent’s face in it afterwards. Gronk certainly managed to do both during a 2014 game. Former teammate Sergio Brown had apparently trash talked Gronk a little too much before the game. So, Gronk not only blocked Brown, he tossed the other player off his feet and completely off the field. When asked about the moment, Gronk said, “He was just yappin’ at me the whole time. So I took him and threw him out of the club.”

One handed catches.

One of Gronk’s main jobs was one that is very simple to say and very difficult to do. When Tom Brady threw the football, Gronk’s job was to catch it. This, obviously, is easier said than done when there are a lot of other people on the field whose job is to keep him from catching the football and running away with it at all costs. Gronk, however, never made things easy for his opponents. Keeping one of his hands busy was never enough. Opponents had to make sure both his hands were occupied since Gronk was known for some of his amazing one-handed catches. One of his best known was against the Broncos when Brady technically threw the ball too far behind Gronk. Gronk, however, leaped up and managed to snag the ball one handed. Following the catch, Brady summed up everyone’s thoughts when he asked Gronk, “How the f*** did you catch that?”

The “Gronk Spike.”

It is the sign that an athlete has become a cultural phenomenon when their signature action is forever associated with their name. Tebow’s prayer posture was called “Tebowing,” and Gronk’s ecstatic celebrations after a touchdown were collectively labeled the “Gronk Spike.” Each spike was a little different, but they were all massive celebrations in the end zone. In one, Gronk imitated the straight-backed, locked-kneed step of an English Queen’s Guard before slamming the ball into the ground. In others, he spiked the ball while he was still airborne from hurtling across the line for the end zone. The spikes were expected from Gronk, and more than one referee had to scurry out of the way of the rebound. Some have argued that Gronk’s seismic spikes were common and spectacular enough that he might go down in history as the player most associated with spiking a football. 

“Yo soy fiesta.”

Trying to be clever on TV often ends with an athlete getting a metaphorical egg on their face and being mocked mercilessly for it by millions of people. Gronk, however, apparently had no fear of making a fool of himself on national television. In an interview with ESPN Deportes, Gronk attempted to speak a little bit of Spanish. It went about as well as could be expected. His statement of “yo soy fiesta” literally translated to “I am party.” While those who partied with Gronk might say that he was technically correct, the phrase made no sense to Spanish speakers. 

The clip went viral and the butchered Spanish sentence would become Gronk’s unofficial catchphrase for years. What would have made just about any other football player look like a moron was received joyously by Gronk fans. Gronk himself never seemed to mind being identified with mangled Spanish. 

Crashing the White House. 

Some of Gronk’s best moments were on the field where he excelled. Some of those moments, however, took place in some of the last places a person would expect. Case in point, Gronk crashed a White House press briefing in 2017. During a visit to the President’s home, Gronk seems to have wondered away from the group tour and decided to do some exploring of his own. What he discovered was a room full of reporters and Sean Spicer standing at the podium. Most people would have quietly slunk away filled with embarrassment and attempted to come up with an excuse for when the Secret Service showed up. Gronk, of course, did none of this. Instead, he smiled at the assembled reporters and asked Spicer if he needed any help. What exactly Gronk planned to do if Spice said yes is not something the world will ever know, but it would no doubt have gone viral.

5 Christian Golfers Playing at the Masters

They celebrate God on and off the course. Read next feature >

More from beliefnet and our partners