In Friday’s issue of ESPN The Magazine, the cover story is none other than famous wild man Rob Gronkonski: which means one should expect a hilarious interview sprinkled with some off the wall photos. And it seems like the images from the cover shoot are destined to downright break the Internet: no Gronk is not pouring champagne into a glass balanced on his butt, however, he is posing half naked with some adorable kittens.

But besides the Gronk kitten pictures, what does the actual story entail: the readers expect the goofy side of the famous tight end, yet what about behind the facade. Of course, there are some damn funny moments: particularly when Gronk talks about his activities while watching Spongebob.

As the above caption points out, this is the least surprising thing we have ever found out about him. However, the athlete’s most humanizing moment has to come when interviewer Lindsay Czarniak asked him about his injuries, lowest points and biggest fears.

After the knee injury last year. I had just come back from back surgery, arm surgery, and I missed a few games. I came back halfway through the season last year. When I went down with the knee, I didn’t know what to expect… Am I ever going to be able to play football again? What’s going on with my career? I was just thinking things like that. You’ve got tears going down your eyes. You’ve got your trainers right there and my parents right there. I was just thinking, “Is this it?” I didn’t know what a knee injury was. I’d never felt pain like that.

He even recounts being in the x-ray room, with his dad holding his hand, continuing to wonder if this was the end of his career: probably the most vulnerable the fans have ever seen the receiver.

I remember I was on the X-ray machine after they carried me off the field on the cart. I mean, I kind of had a concussion too, so I really don’t remember. But I was actually bawling out on the machine when I was getting X-rays on my knee. And I was holding on to my trainer’s hand and my dad was right there and I was just bawling like, “Is this it? Am I done?” I barely remember any of it. I just remember those little stages of it, because of the concussion.

This is a pretty serious moment from a guy who is known for his off the wall antics, but it certainly brings the hyper-realized personality of Gronk down to earth: something that raises his stock higher than the party boy image usually associated with him. Now, if you want to read these comments, along with insights on his dance moves, his childhood and relationship with Tom Brady, then head over to ESPN.

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