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With Super Bowl 52 just two days away, we thought it best to chat with someone who knows the game better than most — legendary tight end Tony Gonzalez. Having played 17 seasons in the NFL for both the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, Gonzalez currently holds the NFL record for total receiving yards. So, really, who better to school us on all things Super Bowl? We discussed everything from his Super Bowl predictions and all-time favorite NFL moments to his killer guacamole recipe using Avocados from Mexico for the big party this Sunday.
It's clear by his responses that Tony continues to sleep, eat, and breathe the game. It's what always made him such a standout player in the NFL and what continues to make him a standout analyst today! Now, let's learn a thing or two about football from one of the greats, shall we?
FHM: You're The All-Time Leader In Receiving Yards By A Tight End In NFL History, What Separated You From Other Guys Who Played The Position?
Tony Gonzalez: "Well, I mean, a lot of it goes into having offensive coordinators that trust you enough to throw you the ball! But, also, I take a little pride in knowing that I did whatever it took to be great. I was that guy who came before practice to catch balls! During practice while the defense was resting, I would catch balls! After practice, when the coach would give information and then every would go home, I would stay stay out and catch balls! Then I’d watch film, then I’d go stretch, then I’d visualize when I’d get home. I’d like to think you get out of it what you put into it, I certainly gave my life to that position, to the sport, and I’d like to think it worked out for me. A lot of guys, believe it or not, they’re not willing to do that extra stuff — majority of the guys won’t do it. I think that’s probably where I was able to separate myself, by pushing myself behind the breaking point and doing that consistently, until, well, I retired."
FHM: Not To Mention, You're Second to ONLY Jerry Rice In Career Receptions In NFL History, Does That Ever Sink In?
Tony Gonzalez: (laughs) "Yeah, well, I wanted to be number one! It’s awesome. When I first started, I never thought that type of career was going to come. I always thought I could be good, but I never thought it could be that that. That’s another thing, too, and Jerry will probably tell you the same, it’s a lot of luck! Never really getting seriously injured, I only missed two games throughout my career — thank God for that, I think that’s why I was able to consistently put out those big numbers year after year. I take a lot of pride in that, it’s something I try to tell my 17-year-old son, but he doesn’t think it’s a big deal!"
FHM: Now As An Analyst, How Do You See The Game Differently Than When You Were Playing? Still Watching A Bunch Of Film And Studying Matchups?
Tony Gonzalez: "I have to watch it from an analytical standpoint to break it down so I can present that to the people when I do my job on Sundays, but, really, the game has stayed the same in a lot of ways. It’s still very physical, but a lot of stuff with the concussion talk and taking the head out that game — you know, that was a big part of the game when I came in! People went over the middle, they were trying to take your head out! Now, with some of the rules, it’s become more of an offensive league. People want to see points! I don’t have a problem with that, especially being an offensive player. That’s the beautiful thing about the NFL though, they’re always trying to make it better — make it more enjoyable and safer for the players and the people watching it. They’ve done a good job! It’s become the main show."
FHM: We've Got To Ask, Which QB Do You Wish You Had The Chance To Play With While You Were In The League?
Tony Gonzalez: "I’d love to have played with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, — they throw to their tight ends a lot! I want to say Aaron Rodgers, but, erm, he doesn’t throw to his tight end all that much. Those first ones though, just legends, they would have been a lot of fun to play with!"
FHM: So, Be Honest, Who You Got In The Super Bowl?
Tony Gonzalez: "I think because of the matchup between Belichick and Nick Foles and that offensive, I just don’t see Nick Foles being able to consistently move that ball. Trust me, I’m pulling for the Eagles, I hope they win! Nothing against New England, I just think somebody else needs a chance. That being said, I love New England — everything that they do from the way they coach their players to checking their ego at the door is great. It’ll be a long shot for Philly to win it."
FHM: Any Super Bowl Moment That Is Your All-Time Favorite?
Tony Gonzalez: "Last year! I was there! I was down on the field when that meltdown was occurring in the second half and I still thought they were going to win. I wasn’t on the team, but I know a lot of the guys — Matt, Bryan, obviously Julio Jones — it was like we were winning, not they were winning! But, yeah, then it all went up in flames!"
FHM: We've Been Discussing This A Lot Recently, Do You Think People Should Have Off The Monday After Super Bowl?
Tony Gonzalez: "Yes. Absolutely! Please, nobody should work on Monday."
FHM: Speaking More About Super Bowl, Let's Talk Parties, We Hear You Make A Mean Guacamole Dip. What's Your Secret?
Tony Gonzalez: "Yes, I do! We've named it ‘Tony’s Touchdown’ and basically, it’s guacamole with a some peaches to represent the Atlanta Falcons and a little BBQ dry rub to represent Kansas City! That combination is delicious."
On behalf of Avocados from Mexico, we went ahead and included a link to Tony's kickass guacamole recipe, which you can find here. We don't know about you guys, but we'll definitely be trying out this recipe for the big game. Another little #ProTip? Tony recommended pairing the guacamole with some Modelo for the big game, don't mind if we do!
You can check out the Avocados from Mexico Super Bowl ad ahead of the game, here.
Lead Image Via Getty