MANHATTAN, Kan. — Heads up, Little Apple: Y’all just got Gronk’d.
Rob Gronkowski — the dancing, wrestling, Pro Bowl tight end of the New England Patriots and life of every party — made his first trip to Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday, where he watched his little brother Glenn knock heads in Kansas State’s annual spring football game.
“It’s cool,” Gronkowski said after his baby bro, a redshirt freshman fullback with the Wildcats, caught an 8-yard touchdown pass with the first-team offense.
“It’s a nice campus. Nice facilities. Nice stadium and all. And everyone’s cool out here. So, it’s a great place. I’m glad my brother’s here.”
The youngest Gronkowski had a solid day, too, rushing for 19 yards on four carries with the Purple (first-team) offense and catching two passes for 16 more yards.
“My brother killed it,” Rob said of Glenn. “He did a good job. I haven’t seen him play since high school, so about three years ago. He had a couple nice runs, a couple first downs and he scored a touchdown.
“But he’s about to get some treatment tonight because he didn’t spike (the ball). So he’s gonna be getting some punishment tonight.”
“The treatment,” Glenn explained later, is a little family love tap, an old Gronkowski tradition — a painful one, too.
“It’s just a little thing (where) you push your hand as hard as you can against their neck,” the K-State fullback said. “It makes you laugh at the same time as it hurts, so you can’t control yourself.
“When I was young, that was how I used to beat Rob up, because that’s the only way I could. So that’s what we do to each other now.”
Those wacky Gronkowskis were loud and proud at the stadium Saturday, posing for pictures with K-State fans and, for the most part, giving their baby brother a ton of grief.
“Yeah, we really thought he was the punter when he first came out,” Rob cracked when asked about his brother, who wears the number 48 — the same digits as punter Ethan Hamms. “Because there were two 48s.”
“I mean, I could hear them every time,” Glenn sighed. “I could basically hear them over everyone in the whole entire stadium.”
They could be heard around town, too. Rob was spotted on Twitter late Friday night hanging out in Aggieville, the campus restaurant/party district, including a stop at Kite’s Grille & Bar, a Manhattan staple.
When a TV type asked if he’d had a chance to sample the local bar scene, the Patriots tight end replied, “No,” then grinned as reporters chuckled at the lie.
“All righty, we out,” Gronkowski then said, quickly, turning to leave. “We gotta get rolling. Catch ya later.”
The big tight end is recovering from issues with his left forearm, with reports earlier this month that Gronkowski will likely require surgery to remove the plate inserted into the arm because of an infection. As he waved good-bye to the cameras, another reporter asked the New England star how his arm was coming along.
To that, Gronk just kept on walking.
“That’s why I left before those questions could be asked,” he said, smiling but never breaking stride.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org