- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rob Gronkowski re-wrote the record book for receiving yards and touchdowns in a season by a tight end. That helped spark the creation of a different type of book -- "Growing up Gronk" -- which hit bookstores on Tuesday.
Author Jeff Schober of Orchard Park, New York, who teaches at Frontier High School, spoke with Buffalo Business First about the book.
"A source told me a story, about Rob’s first practice at Arizona,” Schober told Buffalo Business First. "It’s his first practice as a freshman and he is running down the field and catches a 7-yard out pattern. A linebacker comes across the field and levels Rob and then he stands over Rob and taunts him in front of the entire team. Rob gets up and two plays later they run the same play and Rob makes the same catch. The linebacker is coming at him and instead of going out of bounds, Rob slows down, lowers his shoulder and blows this kid up. Rob walked over, stood over him, dropped the ball on his chest, and walked away. It took me about six months to confirm that story because Rob wasn’t going to talk about it and eventually I found a coach who was at that practice who said, ‘Yep, that’s exactly how it happened.’”
Schober also touched on the final play of the Super Bowl.
"I talked to Rob right after the Super Bowl, where he was injured, but he played. Readers will remember that he was in the end zone on the final play of the game with a possible chance to catch the winning touchdown and so I asked him about that and what that was like,” Schober said. “He told me, ‘I got down to the end zone and I stopped and the ball bounced left. If it had bounced right, I would have been in the right spot. I’ve wondered why I didn’t keep going but you can’t do that.’”
Schober and the Gronkowskis are coming to Boston as part of a promotional tour.
The book is about all the Gronkowski brothers, with a heavier emphasis on Rob "because of his notoriety."