Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end to ever play the game, but his NFL career affected his physical and mental health.
Gronk sat for an interview with NBC News, and talked about the liquid he had in his head.
“No lie, I felt my head, I used to have liquid,” Gronkowski said. “It used to be thick, like, my head used to be thicker—a centimeter of liquid in some spots. And you’d be like, what the heck? You could put indents in my head.”
The mood swings were even worse.
The tight end decided to retire shortly before his 30th birthday. The New England Patriots waited for him to make a final decision, but they all hoped to see him back on the field.
“The icing on the cake was definitely the hit in the Super Bowl,” Gronkowski told Michael Strahan Wednesday. “I had to stay in the game for sure, it’s the last game of the year, but that hit was brutal. I’ve had a couple quad contusions before and I’d miss a game or two and I was back within two weeks. So when that hit happened, you just shrug it off in your mind…but literally this one was for real.”
Football is a harsh game, and Gronk is grateful for the experience he gained.
“I understand what I signed up for…football, to me, has made me a stronger person 100 percent and I’m so thankful for it,” the retired tight end added. “I played in one of the greatest organizations in all of sports, and I’m so thankful for that opportunity and I’ve played with the greatest players of all time, the greatest coach of all time, one of the greatest owners of all time… it can help me go to the next chapter of my life — taking things from there, seeing what I learned from guys like that.
“It’s made me so much more stronger. It’s brought me to this point now and I found ways to recover from everything too — finding the right treatments, techniques on how to heal, finding different workouts and it’s going to lead me to my next path in life.”
He really needs this break. There’s nothing good in having all those injuries and being in pain all the time.
“It’s crazy. I understand. I feel that love. But I want to be clear to my fans: I needed to recover. I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down. And I didn’t like it. And I was losing that joy in life. Like, the joy. I’m sorry right now,” the retired tight end said, fighting through tears. “But … I really was. And I was fighting through it. And I knew what I signed up for and I knew what I was fighting through, and I knew I just needed to fix myself.”