Gordy Gronkowski Fatherhood

Gordy Gronkowski’s parenting methods may be more than unconventional, but the results of his “Why do anything if you can’t be number one?” mentality can’t be denied.

Those results, to be specific: Five sons, all over 6 foot 2, all star athletes, and adding up to a combined weight of 1,258 lbs. What’s more, three sons have played in the NFL simultaneously — beating one in thirty-million odds by doing so.

As you’d expect, Papa Gronk got his kids started early, working on their hand-eye coordination as soon as they were strong enough to hold a tennis ball. As the five boys grew in size and ability, Gordy emphasized fearlessness with one of his most basic rules: “If you can get up, you get up.”

But this is more than just the tale of a crazy sports dad. It’s the story of breaking a traumatic cycle of alcoholism and abuse. Gordy’s father, Ignatius Gronkowski, bodybuilder and son of an Olympian, was an alcoholic and largely absent. When he became a father himself, Gordy was determined to switch the scales on everything but the athletic prowess.

Was he unrelenting? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, Gordy’s top priority was to avoid scarring his children, whether physically or emotionally, on the path to greatness.

Learn more about Gronkowski’s fatherhood feats and the “Gronk” family dynamics in the June / July issue of Esquire, and look out for more inspiring tales of fatherhood in this week’s #WeekendReads.

P.S. You just might be seeing the Gronkowskis make their TV series debut. See a bonus clip within the article!

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