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Local family boasts three sons in NFL: Growing Up Gronk

A Buffalo-area businessman has authored a book called Growing Up Gronk: A Family's Story of Raising Champions. Gordy Gronkowski has five sons, three of whom have made it in the National Football League.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley says Gronkowski and two of his sons appeared in the WBFO studios for an interview withNPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin.

"When I brought them up, there was a couple of things in life. One of the major things, if they start something, they couldn't quit until it was finished," said Gordy Gronkowski, Sr., founder and owner of G&G Fitness equipment.

There are slim percentages that a college football player will end up playing professional football. Only  1.7% play professionally. But you might say this Williamsville family has beat those odds. 

With a fitness philosophy and love for sports, the family has successfully entered into the professional sports arena. Rob, Dan and Chris Gronkwski are all in the NFL playing for the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns. 

Gronkowski Sr. once played football at Syracuse University. He said he loves football, but never forced his sons to play sports.

"If they didn't want to play, I would have never forced it on them," said Gronkowski.

Gronkowski pushed fitness and health for his sons saying its not a secret how he got his children in shape to play professional football.

Dan Gronkowski, a tight end with the Cleveland Browns, said he always liked to play sports. 

Chris Gronkowski is a running back with the San Diego Chargers. Rob Gronkowski is an All-Pro tight end with the New England Patriots. The older son, Gordy, Jr., who is now retired, played professional baseball.  He and Rob both had back surgery for injuries they suffered.

The youngest son, Glenn, is in playing Division one college football at Kansas State. Gronkowski admits he does worry about injuries for his sons.  

Their father says raising a sports family comes with a big price tag. The family spent about $500-to-$600 a week on groceries and would devour two to three gallons of milk a day.