Rob Gronkowski's most memorable moments, both on and off the field, from a wild NFL career

We now live in a post-Gronk NFL world, but the memories that the tight end provided during his nine-year career will stick around for quite some time. And, boy, there were a lot of memorable moments from Gronk.

From the dominant performances on the field to his wild antics and hilarious quotes off of it, Gronkowski was essentially a highlight machine during his tenure in New England. Combine his boyish, immature soul with the monstrous, athletic body and elite skillset that made him an offensive force and you have one of the most unique athletes in sports.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of Gronk's most iconic moments from his career in the NFL.

The NFL Draft scene

In hindsight, Gronk got taken hilariously late in the 2010 NFL Draft, going to the Patriots with the 42nd overall pick. However, his shenanigans on stage -- grabbing (and wearing) a Pats helmet, doing "Gronk!" chants with his entire family -- were memorable and foreshadowed what to expect from the wild tight end.

All the times a mere mortal attempted to tackle him

Arguably the most memorable thing about Gronk's career will be all the times that he made defenders look silly as they tried to take him down. In his prime, Gronk was basically a locomotive that could not be stopped without at least three defenders working together to tackle him. The highlights speak for themselves. 

The '69' jokes

oafucn1yhir9o9t2qezj.jpg

There are approximately one billion '69' jokes that Gronkowski made throughout his career, but the most memorable has to be the time that he taped the number onto the back of a blank practice jersey, wore it on the field and then asked reporters to identify his new number. It really is the simple things in life.

"Yo Soy Fiesta"

Often times it feels like Gronk can barely speak English, so it's really no surprise that his Spanish could use a little work as well. But that didn't stop him from attempting his best Español during an interview with ESPN Deportes. Not only did it lead to a wonderfully endearing Gronk moment, but it also provided the tight end with a catchphrase -- "yo soy fiesta," which literally translates to "I am party" -- that would ultimately stick around for years.

Gronk throws Sergio Brown out of the club

Gronk has ruined plenty of Sundays for countless defenders, but the most ruthless destruction of an opponent likely came in 2014 when the tight end absolutely buried former teammate Sergio Brown. Gronk mercilessly blocked Brown straight out of the field of play and into a different zip code. Better than the block was Gronk's quote afterward. 

"He was just yappin' at me the whole time," Gronkowski said of the play, per CSN New England. "So I took him and threw him out of the club."

The spikes

Gronk was far from the first NFL player to spike a football, but he may go down as the player most associated with the celebration. That's because Gronk made it a habit to unleash a seismic spike after nearly every touchdown he scored, eventually leading to "Gronk Spike" being its own classification of celebration.

Gronk sometimes liked to switch things up, providing various twists to his signature spike. The most creative may have been when he paid tribute to England's Royal Guard with a royal spike.

The maniacal end zone celebration

We've covered Gronk's tendency for emphatic touchdown celebrations, but it's fitting that maybe the most famous of them all capped what might be Gronk's most dominant drive ever. He completely took over during a 2017 Patriots regular season matchup against the Steelers, making four catches -- including a two-point conversion -- that helped New England mount a late-game comeback. As he hauled in the two-point conversion, Gronkowski straight-up threw Steelers cornerback Sean Davis off of him and then laughed maniacally at the futile attempt to stop him before delivering the signature spike. That sequence may have been the perfect summation of Gronk's dominance and personality.

The parade performances

For Gronk, the regular season was the preseason, the postseason was the regular season and the parade was the playoffs. As much as he was a standout on the field, he delivered some equally great performances on the Duck Boats following the three titles he won with the Patriots. Who could forget the time he wore a Minions hat and relentlessly chugged beers while hanging out of the moving Duck Boat? Legend.

The puck spike

It wasn't just footballs that Gronk punished with his massive spikes. During an honorary visit to a Bruins game after New England won the Super Bowl in 2015, Gronkowski took a puck and absolutely slung it off the ice at TD Garden, sending it sailing into the crowd on the ricochet. Luckily, the ice surface remained playable and no innocent bystanders got hurt from the flying projectile. Game on.

Crashing a White House press briefing

During a White House visit in 2017, Gronk presumably wandered away from the Patriots' group tour and went rogue. Without any adult supervision, he found his way to the press room and crashed a White House press briefing hosted by Sean Spicer. Gronk interrupted Spicer and asked him if he needed any help, to which the former press secretary declined. The tight end can always try again this year. Who knows, maybe it'll lead to a post-football opportunity for him in Washington!

The final catch

If Gronk is truly done playing football, his very last catch in the NFL was a huge one. The pivotal red zone grab helped set up the Pats' only touchdown against the Rams, powering them to a 13-3 victory. It seems only right that his final catch was a great example of how unstoppable he and Tom Brady were together when they were at their best.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories