Buffalo’s first family of sports – the fun-loving Gronkowskis of Amherst – are making news off the football field this week after a promotional video touting a proposed animated TV series called “The Gronks” was leaked.
The three-minute trailer was broadcast Tuesday on the sports website Deadspin. It introduces the Gronkowskis – Gordy Jr., Chris, Dan, Glenn and Rob, all athletes – as well as patriarch Gordy Sr., through a series of clips, some shot in Western New York.
“You have a better chance of winning the lottery than to have three kids in the NFL,” the senior Gronkowski says at the beginning of the video.
The brothers engage in horseplay – some of it R-rated – with themes similar to those seen on “South Park.”
Like “South Park,” “The Gronks” would be an animated series.
Local scenes shots at Williamsville North High School and WGRZ-TV Channel 2 are easily recognized, as are cameo appearances made by former Channel 2 sports director Ed Kilgore and Williamsville North football coach Mike Mammoliti.
Snow predominates in many of the scenes, which were shot earlier this year. One shows the brothers throwing snowballs at a truck.
Mammoliti recalled spending much of one day shooting the scene at Williamsville North.
“They’re a fun group of guys,” said Mammoliti, who coached four of the brothers. “Their lives are pretty funny in terms of growing up. Five athletic boys in the same house.
“The stuff their mom had to go through. Just cooking for the five guys is a story in itself.”
Three of the brothers have played pro football:
• Tight-end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski is two-time Pro Bowler who returned last week to the New England Patriots. The last game he played before that was Jan. 13 in the Patriots’ playoff win over Houston. He underwent back surgery in June and has had four operations on his left forearm since last November.
• Dan was recently released from the Cleveland Browns after playing for three other NFL teams.
• Chris is on injured reserve for the San Diego Chargers.
Gordy Jr., the oldest brother, stayed off the gridiron and played baseball for Jacksonville State. The youngest, Glenn, also known as “Goose,” plays college football for Kansas State.
The Gronkowski family of athletes towered over everyone during the scenes shot at Channel 2 earlier this year, recalled Kilgore, who said an entire filming crew showed up at the station.
“I’m 6-foot-1 and weigh 210 pounds, and these guys made me look like a midget,” Kilgore said Wednesday.
“Gronk is a very good rapper. We had a lot of laughs. They are a hoot. I thought the humor was funny and racy. It may not be for everybody.”
Much of the racier humor in the promotional video is at the expense of Rob Gronkowski.
“He got in the most trouble at school,” says Dan Gronkow-ski in the video.
One of the scenes shot at Williamsville North depicts the brothers walking through the halls near the gym with Mammoliti.
“They were high school boys and all they thought about was high school girls,” said the coach during a phone interview. “All that drama. I’m a father of two girls, and I always thought I’d never let them near my girls. We were walking past the locker room, and I think it was a producer who asked if I had any ideas.”
“I just blurted out: ‘You guys are banned. You can’t be within 300 feet of the women’s locker room,’” said Mammoliti. “It was a joke.”
The Gronkowskis built quite a reputation growing up, their coach said.
“Me being the coach of four of them, they just brought me in,” Mammoliti said. “By the time you’re done with four boys, it’s almost as if I became an uncle. They invited me to birthday parties, graduations. They’ve always made me feel more than just a coach. They kept me in the fold, and that’s pretty cool.”
Mammoliti, who is now preparing his team for the playoffs, gets a kick out of the Gronkowskis.
“They each have their own personality, but when they get together, that’s exactly what it is, an animated TV show,” he said. “I just want to know what my royalties are.”