He’s a Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end, a four-time Super Bowl champion, and a former student-athlete at the University of Arizona. Football legend Rob Gronkowski recently returned to his alma mater to add another item to his list of accomplishments.
He became the world-record holder for the highest altitude catch ever made after catching a ball plummeting from a helicopter at 600 feet. Gronk returning to spend some time with the team is an exciting enough prospect as an Arizona player. But witnessing the fanfare of footballs being dropped from helicopters really makes for a fun day.
“He’s not just in pads for no reason. He is in pads because we’re gonna have one more final catch here at Arizona stadium. What we’re gonna do is we’re gonna make it a Guinness Book of World Record catch. We’re gonna have the highest altitude catch that has ever been done in the world,” said Jedd Fisch, the head coach at the University of Arizona.
In the video, the team looks on and takes video as the helicopter hovers ominously overhead.
“If you want to give it a shot, we’re at 640 feet actually,” says someone aboard the chopper. Bombs away.
Rob Gronkowski tries his best to block out the sun as the first ball speeds toward him. The first attempt slips through his hands.
Another one. This time the ball is just off his fingertips. He’s adjusting to the speed.
Third Time’s the Charm for Rob Gronkowski
On the third attempt, Gronk finally corrals the speeding ball by pinning it to his chest. The University of Arizona football team goes crazy and runs over to celebrate with the 10-year NFL veteran.
The longtime Patriots tight-end does his signature “Gronk Spike” celebration as the scoreboard confirms a world record has just been broken.
“Every time you step on the field, you’ve got to raise the bar to another level, baby. And I just raised that bar to this level,” Gronk tells the team, holding his arm up above his 6’6″ frame.
Buccaneers Look to Repeat as Super Bowl Champions
Gronk came out of early retirement to follow his career-long quarterback, Tom Brady, to Tampa Bay last season. And it proved to be a wise decision as the Bucs easily handled the Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl 55.
Rob Gronkowski and Brady are running it back next year. And if Tampa Bay can keep the core of its championship together, they’re going to be in a strong position to contend for another title.