clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Rob Gronkowski KCA/Nickelodeon

Filed under:

Gronk says Tom Brady deserves to get slimed for ‘retiring then unretiring 41 days later’

The Bucs tight end is hosting the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday ... and no, he hasn’t decided yet if he’s retiring or re-signing with Tampa Bay.

Rob Gronkowski is making the most of the offseason as always. The four-time Super Bowl champion is keeping himself busy by doing everything … except actually deciding whether he wants to return to the NFL next season.

We all know that Gronk is a giant kid at heart, and now the 32-year-old child in size 16 sneakers is hosting the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday, alongside iCarly actress Miranda Cosgrove. In between getting slimed and hanging out with Nickelodeon favorites like Olivia Rodrigo, Saweetie, Elizabeth Olsen and Awkwafina, Gronk took time to reflect on his future in the NFL — and said he genuinely hasn’t decided whether he’s going to return or not.

“​​It actually feels good right now to be free — not having any football over my head, working out when I want to work out,” Gronkowski told SB Nation at the Nickelodeon press preview. “I love my teammates, I love the Buccaneers’ organization, everyone from A to Z, they’re all great people and it’s a lot of fun to go to work there. Right now, I am just chilling and doing other things like hosting the Kids’ Choice Awards show and throwing a Gronk Beach party.”

Let’s be honest, after 11 seasons playing in the NFL — and one year off that landed him a broadcasting gig with Fox Sports — the guy deserves some time off to chill … and of course, party with his bros.

SB Nation caught up with Gronk ahead of Saturday night’s messy awards show in Santa Monica, California, to talk about sliming Tom Brady, inviting all the first round draft picks to party in Vegas, and the ongoing dilemma of whether we’ll ever see a Gronk Spike in Raymond James Stadium again.

SB Nation: How many times have you been slimed so far?
Rob Gronkowski: I’ve been slimed about three times in my life, I was at the Kids’ Choice Sports Awards a few years ago, which is one of my favorite shows that I’ve ever been a part of, and that’s what exposed me for hosting the Kids’ Choice Awards. When I got the call, I was like ‘hell yeah!’ I was super thrilled, super excited. So I got slimed a couple of times at those shows, then my last time was about two weeks ago at the promo shoot. Let me tell you – it was epic, it was legendary, it was about 40 seconds long ... or 69 seconds long, there were 6-9 slime-blaster guns just sliming me … it kept going and going, in my face and in my mouth. I had to keep dancing and flexing to get the shot that they needed. I ain’t scared ever to be slimed again as it’s never going to be like that in my life.

What’s worse, getting slimed or the slip ‘n slide at your Arizona house in college?
Getting slimed is definitely messier! The slip ‘n slide used soap and water, so it actually cleaned you off. The slime at the shoot and at the Kids’ Choice Sports, I had to shower two times to get it off. It’s definitely sloppy and is a big mess – it’s in your hair, ears, nose …

Who would you slime in the NFL if you could?
I would slime all the defenders out there so they’re slippery and wet, so they would fall and slip and I’d be wide open. That would be a great strategy, right before the play I’d get it in their eyes so they couldn’t see. Also Tom, he deserves to get slimed for retiring then unretiring 41 days later. He definitely deserves it for that epic thing he pulled. (Brady is also nominated for a KCA for Best Male Athlete).

Did you know he was going to unretire that quickly? He didn’t even have time for a retirement party!
Exactly, he didn’t have time for a retirement party. We could have at least gotten that in, so he deserves to get slimed for that, so if I could slime him I would.

If you were a Nickelodeon character, who would you be?
I’d be Spongebob, no, actually I’d be Patrick on Spongebob Squarepants, he’s great and he’s hilarious.

I saw you’re hosting another Gronk Beach over NFL draft weekend.
That is April 29 in Las Vegas at Encore Beach Club, it is going to be that Friday — the day after the first round on Thursday night. So therefore, all the first rounders are invited who are at the draft.

None of them are going to be able to celebrate like you did when you got drafted!
Exactly! We’ve got The Chainsmokers performing, they’re the kings of Vegas right now. It’s always great to be at their shows, they put a heck of a show on. Encore Beach Club, you can’t beat that facility. It’s going to be Gronk Beach 2.0, and we’re going to have friends, family up on stage going HAM. It is going to be epic.

The last time you hosted a Gronk Beach, and the last time you threw a party in Vegas, you were retired. Now you’re in-between, are you coming back? Are you going to re-sign?Exactly, when you throw Gronk Beach, retirement is in your vocabulary. So the first one I was retired, and this one is ‘am I going to retire?’ so that counts as being able to throw a Gronk Beach party.

Does this mean you’re going to re-sign on April 30th?
It depends how tipsy I am, what kind of decisions I am going to make while at Gronk Beach. But no, I am not going to re-sign then, it actually feels good right now, it feels good to be free — not having any football over my head, working out when I want to work out. I love my teammates, I love the Buccaneers’ organization, everyone from A to Z, they’re all great people and it’s a lot of fun to go to work there. Right now, I am just chilling and doing other things like hosting the Kids’ Choice Awards show and throwing a Gronk Beach party. Not staying too busy, just having a couple of things a month to focus on then, and doing what I want to do in my free time.

When do you have to decide by?
I don’t really have a decision date, I don’t ever have to decide – if I don’t decide then that just means I’m not playing! There really is no decision that I have to make in my life, maybe I’ll just go the rest of my life without ever deciding. People will be like ‘Rob, what did you decide?’ when I’m like 70 years old, and I’ll say: ‘It’s still up in the air.’

Are you in contract negotiations, or are you not even there yet?
That will start if I decide that I want to play. There’s no reason to do that while there’s a decision to be made first. It’s all about if I decide to.

Did Bruce Arians standing down as head coach impact your decision at all?
No, no, no. If I go back to play football, it’s going to be for the Bucs. I loved playing for Coach Arians.

Would you play for anyone else?
Not right now, the Buccaneers situation is just too good if I decide to go back and play. Like I said, I love all my teammates there. They are all great teammates and all selfless players, they are there for the team and what’s best for the team and the whole organization. If I do play football again, it’ll be for the Bucs.

Are you excited for Todd Bowles to be the new head coach … whether you play or not?
He’s a great coach, he was a coach for the Jets for a little bit so he was actually one of my rivals (at the time) for a couple of years.

It’s not really a rival when you beat them all the time.
That’s true! He’s a great dude, I’ve been with him for the past two years, he draws up great schemes and I think he’s going to do a great job at the Buccaneers.

You have to go back, as I never got to see you play in Tampa last year!
If that’s the reason then I’ll have to come back, I’ll put that one in my back pocket as one of my reasons, so you can interview me after a game. That’s wonderful, not a problem!

You’re following in some big shoes hosting the Kids’ Choice Awards like John Cena and The Rock, would you aspire to host a show like Cena, or do more action blockbusters like them?
They do a great job, I love watching both of their movies – Cena and The Rock. They come out with a lot of great stuff, I was big fans of them in the wrestling world too, they put a show on. They’re more jacked than me, though ... their arms are probably three times the size of mine. It’s pretty incredible how jacked they are.

Who are you most excited to see at KCA?
Kid Cudi because he had one of my favorite songs growing up since I was in high school, Pursuit of Happiness. It just keeps rocking and rolling whenever you’re at a party, it was one of the songs always playing — it gets your electricity flowing.

I hear you’ve got your own theme song now called Everybody Get Gronk’ed?
Yes! My dad has been playing it everywhere, he had it playing at the charity event last week. Our producer, Jack D. Elliot, did a wonderful job on it. Hopefully we can have it played here at the Kids’ Choice Awards.

The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards airs live on Saturday, April 9 at 7.30 ET.


The art of the forced fumble, explained by the NFL Draft class of 2020


The gore, guts and horror of an NFL fumble pile


I understand why Andrew Luck retired, because I’ve been in his shoes

View all stories in NFL