From rookie to New Orleans bound, Gino Gradkowski’s ride to the “Big Easy”

gradkowski

Being a rookie in the NFL is much like riding a roller coaster at an amusement park. Waiting in line for your turn to ride, pretty much equals waiting anxiously for your name to be called on draft day. You have seen the ride on television much like a college player sees the pro games and can’t wait to experience the thrill for himself.

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Baltimore Ravens rookie center/guard Gino Gradkowski and was curious to hear his thoughts on getting to a Super Bowl in his rookie year. Gradkowski played in all 16 regular season games and all three postseason games and is headed to New Orleans for the ultimate thrill ride.

When asked about his trip to the Super Bowl Gradkowski stated, “It’s amazing. To experience this my rookie year is just incredible and I’m so happy I’m a part of this team.”

For those not familiar with Gino, he comes from a football family; in fact, his brother Bruce is a quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals. Gino says his family will be in attendance at the Super Bowl.

“Absolutely,” he said. “They’re all fired up. We’re making plans now to get them all down there.”

Gino grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended the University of Deleware. The Baltimore Ravens selected Gradkowski in the 4th round (98th overall) of the 2012 draft.

Each year, the league holds an orientation to life in the NFL seminar, that includes direction on social responsibility, professional development, community engagement, league policies, workplace conduct, and media relations. In addition, it offers educational life-skills workshops on topics ranging from substance abuse, sex education, domestic violence, DUI, gambling, personal finance, associations, and family issues. These sessions help young players to recognize the off-the-field challenges that life as a professional football player may bring while also teaching them how to handle these challenges successfully.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” aknowledged Gradkowski when questioned about growing up watching Super Bowls and thinking what it must feel like to play in them.

I can’t even begin to imagine the feeling or sensation one must have to be able to live out a childhood fantasy such as playing in the Super Bowl. I spent countless hours in my own backyard playing football with my brother and friends pretending to be the quarterback in the big game.

Congratulations to Gino for living out his dream and for what I hope is just one of many trips to the Super Bowl for such a humble and talented player.

This entry was posted in Blog View by Brian Bower. Bookmark the permalink.

About Brian Bower

Brian Bower
Brian Bower is avid football fan who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Brian has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past two years for FootballNewsNow.com. His work has been featured on NFL.com and ESPN blogs. He is also a regular guest...more

2 Raves on “From rookie to New Orleans bound, Gino Gradkowski’s ride to the “Big Easy”

  1. Anonymous on said:

    I had the pleasure of meeting him at a Special Olympic event. He was awesome, just enjoyed the moment. It was cute watching him sign an autograph before the season began

  2. Big C on said:

    He’s a cool guy, met him after the Delaware-Towson game last year. We had the same O-line coach, so I know he was coached well in college. Wish him nothing but success, Birk is gonna call it quits after we win, so he needs a good off-season and he’ll be the guy…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Hot off the street

RAVENS LINKS: What Flacco Needs to Be

Five Things That Need to Go Right for The Ravens in 2014 Phil Gentile of the Purple Reign Show lists five things that the Ravens have to do in 2014. The 5th thing - and the most important thing - h...read more

Former Teammate Takes Swipe at Ray Rice

The Ray Rice backlash is not going away anytime soon. When he travels to other stadiums the activists will follow and vitriolic fans with nothing better to do with their sad little lives will make ...read more

Which Raven Is Ranked 3rd Best 3-4 OLB in the NFL?

Does anyone want to take a guess as to who Pro Football Focus (PFF) has ranked as their third best 3-4 outside linebacker through three preseason games? Anyone? Here’s a hint: The last time he...read more

Campanaro Set For Preseason Finale in NOLA

For three years in high school, Ravens rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro dazzled on the football field under the Friday Night Lights at River Hill High School in a quiet section of Clarksville, M...read more

Ravens QB’s Turn to a New Color

Quarterbacks throughout the league almost always wear a third color during practices – a color that stands out and apart from those worn by the offense and the defense. The idea, mostly for the b...read more

View More