February 28th, 2024

Canadian Luke Willson banking on Gronkowski making second 25-yard field goal attempt

By The Canadian Press on February 9, 2024.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) stretches during an NFL football training camp practice Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Gronkowski, a four-time Super Bowl-winning tight end, returns for FanDuel's Kick of Destiny 2. Last year, Gronkowski was unsuccessful in his attempt to make a 25-yard field goal during the first-ever live Super Bowl commercial. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara

There’s no doubt in Canadian Luke Willson’s mind that Rob Gronkowski will redeem himself.

Gronkowski, a four-time Super Bowl-winning tight end, returns for FanDuel’s Kick of Destiny 2. Last year, Gronkowski was unsuccessful in his attempt to make a 25-yard field goal during the first-ever live Super Bowl commercial.

But on Sunday, he’ll make the trip to Las Vegas to make the attempt before a live audience before the Super Bowl game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

And just like last year, the sports-betting platform is offering customers to make a free pick on whether Gronkowski will makes or misses the kick. Those picking correctly will win an equal share of US$10 million in bonus bets.

“I’d say very, very high,” Willson said regarding Gronkowski’s chances of making the kick. “I think it was pretty shocking last year that he missed.

“I don’t think it’s keeping him up at night by any means but I think everybody involved was pretty surprised. My guess is, especially with his agreeing to do it again, means he’s not going to come out here and miss again. He wants his revenge and I think he makes it.”

Willson believes Gronkowski will make no mistake this time around.

“I think last year was a bit of a fluke,” Willson said. “I think he comes here and puts this thing right down the middle.”

Gronkowski spent 11 seasons in the NFL (2010-18 with New England, 2020-21 with Tampa Bay). He was part of four Super Bowl-winning teams, all with legendary quarterback Tom Brady.

The six-foot-five, 255-pound Willson played eight NFL seasons as a tight end with Seattle (2013-17, 2019), Detroit (2018) and Baltimore (2020). He rejoined the Seahawks on Aug. 24, 2021 but retired the next day after revealing he had spent time in hospital with a severe pericardial effusion (fluid buildup around the heart).

Willson appeared in two Super Bowls with Seattle, winning as a rookie. The Seahawks dispatched Denver 43-8 on Feb, 2, 2014 before dropping a 28-24 decision to New England the following year.

Willson, 34, of LaSalle, Ont., registered 111 catches for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns in 102 career NFL games.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2024.

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