Each of the five Gronkowski siblings gets a chance to run the ball up the middle in this tepid profile of an exceptional American family that has so far managed to send three of its sons to the NFL.
Gordie Jr., Dan, Chris, Rob and Goose weren’t like other kids growing up in rural New York State. For one thing, they were significantly bigger than everyone else. They were also driven to obsessively hone their physical gifts, spending thousands of hours in their basement gymnasium bulking up and beating the tar out of each other. But such were the rites of passage that helped define much of this colorful, sports-loving clan. Papa Gronkowski—a terrific player in his own right who later went on to found his own fitness supply company—instilled the hard-nosed dedication in each of his boys as they took turns chasing down the dream of becoming professional athletes. Three have already made it, a fourth came awfully close, and a fifth is coming on strong. That, however, is pretty much the extent of what readers will learn about the Gronkowski family dynamic. They worked hard, supported each other and never quit. End of story. Mother Gronkowski, for instance, barely earns a mention, even though what life must have been like for the only female member of such a rambunctious family unit surely seems like fertile ground for real exploration. Bland quotes from friends and neighbors down through the years add little to the family portrait and do even less to differentiate one Gronkowski from the next. “He blossomed into the person he became. He has a great sense of humor”—that’s about as penetrating as this breezy sports biography dares to get.
Unapologetically laudatory and ultimately dull.