Gonzalez tweeting his way toward 1,000 catches
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is tweeting his way toward 1,000 catches.
Gonzalez launched a contest on his Twitter page (TonyGonzalez88) to reward one lucky fan after he becomes just the seventh player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receptions in a career.
He's already the leader among tight ends, going into Sunday's season opener at Pittsburgh with 999.
''I'm humbled by it, just to join that group,'' Gonzalez said Wednesday. ''The players in that group are just amazing. I never thought I'd be in that type of group. A thousand catches! When you come into the league, you don't think about that. If you do, your head's in the wrong place.''
Jerry Rice tops the list with 1,549 catches. Terrell Owens, who's No. 6 with 1,006, is the only active player with more receptions than Gonzalez.
The 33-year-old tight end is urging fans to tweet him the message ''(hash tag)1000catch'' - only one entry per day, please - with a winner to be selected after he joins the select club. The prize: two free tickets to a future Falcons game, along with a pair of gloves he wears in the game and an autographed football.
''I just want to share the experience,'' he said. ''I wanted to let the fans know we're all in this together. It's a neat thing. I think whoever wins is going to enjoy it.''
Falcons coach Mike Smith hopes that Gonzalez reaches the milestone early on against the Steelers. Then he can get started on his next 1,000.
''It's a great individual achievement for Tony,'' Smith said. ''And, of course, Tony is an integral part of what we're trying to get done here. You know it's going to happen. It's just a matter of when.''
Gonzalez has always been a bit of a Renaissance man, never afraid to try new things. His foray into social media is just the latest example.
''If you don't keep up,'' he said, ''you will fall behind.''