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Rob Gronkowski: Always moving, extremely hungry

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CULVER CITY, Calif. -- There are few tasks more challenging than trying to interview a hungry Gronkowski brother.

This is my Mt. Kilimanjaro on Thursday afternoon at NFL Network studios: A two-minute window of opportunity with New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, in the midst of both a bi-coastal media tour and a chicken sandwich that never had a chance.

Rob Gronkowski has quickly become one of the NFL's most recognizable stars.
Rob Gronkowski has quickly become one of the NFL's most recognizable stars. (Ben Liebenberg/NFL.com)

With little time for pleasantries, I get right to it, asking the record-breaking tight end -- who's wearing a walking boot following February ankle surgery -- what he thinks about comments made by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who called Patriots coach Bill Belichick a "jerk" Wednesday on ESPN. Gronkowski was seated next to Revis at the time.

"He said that was his opinion of him, and that's all," he said.

This is not a subject Gronkowski wants to discuss -- behaving as if he knows anything he says will end up under the media microscope. Of course, that's exactly right. I stay on topic, asking if he's accustomed to the rival Jets making such bold proclamations.

"They can say whatever they want," he replies, before letting out a laugh -- a loud, whooping chortle -- that has the rest of a crowded green room joining in instantly. I laugh, too, though I'm not entirely sure why.

Topic change. Gronkowski has become to sports media what Liz Taylor and Michael Jackson were to the National Enquirer in the 1980s. I ask Gronk what it's been like to be ceaselessly documented, with everything from his infamous post-Super Bowl fist-pumping to his surreal "Madden" cover pitch campaign getting attention.

He points to his manager, Henry Penzi, and has him answer.

"This is him just being himself," says Penzi, who is part of a traveling group that includes fellow NFL "Gronk" brothers Dan and Chris and their father, Gordy. "Growing up with five brothers -- and they're all fun and giving and respectful to people -- but this is just them being boys."

The interview ends shortly thereafter, with Gronkowski apologizing for his brevity before adding, "I can't even think, I'm so hungry." I see his point, understanding a Gronkowski brother needs fuel to remain in constant, tornado-like motion.

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