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It’s always a treat to talk to big-time NFL players (past or present) during Super Bowl week, and we certainly chatted with a league legend this week as we were fortunate enough to speak to Hall of Fame tight end and current Thursday Night Football analyst Tony Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, of course, is easily one of the greatest tight ends of all time, catching 1,325 regular-season passes for 15,127 yards (both are records at the position) with 111 touchdowns, second only to Antonio Gates.

Over 17 NFL seasons, 12 with the Kansas City Chiefs and the final five with the Atlanta Falcons, he was a 14-time Pro Bowler, a 10-time All-Pro (six First Team, four Second Team), and in 2019 became the first tight end to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot.

Gonzalez has also found plenty of success in retirement as a broadcaster, working as an analyst for both CBS and Fox Sports before making the jump to Amazon Prime ahead of the 2022 season.

As you can guess, we chatted with Gonzalez on a variety of football topics, obviously including his thoughts on Super Bowl 57, as well as his views on Travis Kelce, his Mount Rushmore of tight ends, and Tecmo Bowl even entered the conversation.

But we also discussed the new campaign with which he’s involved for Bayer Aspirin, which is using February, which just happens to be American Heart Month, to raise awareness about heart health and cardiovascular disease, which can actually be affected by sports fandom.

So without further ado, here’s our interview with Tony Gonzalez. Enjoy.

Sportscasting’s interview with Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez
Tony Gonzalez | Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Sportscasting: I’m joined today by 14-time Pro Bowler and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. Tony, how are you today?

Tony Gonzalez: I’m doing well, thank you.

Sportscasting: I certainly want to get into some Super Bowl 57 talk with you, but before we get to that, let’s talk about this great new campaign with which you’re involved with Bayer Aspirin. Now, a lot of people are going to be stressed out this weekend, and fans can get pretty intense — especially Eagles fans — when watching their teams play. Tell us about your involvement with Bayer.

Tony Gonzalez: You know, you mentioned something right there about Philly fans getting crazy and getting into it.

Sportscasting: Just a little intense, aren’t they?

Tony Gonzalez: (laughing) Yeah, a little intense. In working with these folks, I learned a wild stat that your chances of having a heart attack are doubled when you’re rooting for your home team. Talk about getting into it.

You know, what this campaign is about is bringing awareness and letting them know what’s really going on with their hearts. And there are a lot of different things you can do to put yourself in the best position to have a healthy heart and a healthy life.

Bayer’s got a great website called that I went to just yesterday, and you can go there and get assessed with a questionnaire that takes only a few minutes to see if you’re low-risk, medium-risk, or high-risk and come up with a plan to make sure you’re going to be around to root for your home team. And, more importantly, that you’ll be around to hang out with your family, your close loved ones, and your close friends.

Sportscasting: I think heart health has certainly come to the forefront this year in the NFL, given recent events, and I commend you for being a part of this initiative.

So let’s talk a little football. As we’ve discussed, this game on Sunday is going to be very intense, and people are certainly going to be into it. We’ve got your old team, the Kansas City Chiefs, with whom you spent a dozen years, and then we’ve got the Philadelphia Eagles on the other side.

Outside of the quarterbacks — I mean, we know Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are going to affect the outcome of this game — but who are some of the guys in the trenches who you think might impact this Super Bowl and turn it one way or the other?

Tony Gonzalez: Well, I think that’s where it’s going to get won. And that’s where most games usually get won is up front with the big bodies.

Someone like Kelce — and not Travis — Jason Kelce. He’s a star in himself with an unbelievable personality. But him going against Chris Jones — Chris Jones going against that whole offensive front, that offensive line from the Eagles is really good. And Chris Jones is really good on the defensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs. He can determine the outcome of a game with just a few plays. You saw what he did in the AFC Championship Game. So I’m going to really focus on that matchup.

I think another under-the-radar-type player for the Kansas City Chiefs is Isiah Pacheco. That rookie running back runs hard. If they can get him going, I think they can control things. Now you set things up to make life easier for Patrick Mahomes to go out there and work his magic.

Sportscasting: And that’ll be interesting in itself, as he’s still dealing with that ankle. He’s not quite as mobile as he was, but he’s also had a couple of weeks to rest it. So how do you see him coming out? Do you think he’ll come out and just go for it, or will he be a little hesitant?

Tony Gonzalez: I think he’ll go for it all. You saw what happened last week. When the game was on the line, he just took off and put it on his shoulders. That’s what great players do. So I don’t see him having too many limitations. And if there are, he’ll fight through it and do his normal stuff.

Sportscasting: Yeah, I agree with you. And he’ll have six months to rest up after this one. So you mentioned Jason Kelce, and I certainly want to talk about Travis as well. You guys played the same position for the same team as you played the majority of your career in Kansas City. What are your thoughts on him and what he’s done in his career thus far?

Tony Gonzalez: Travis has just been incredible. It’s been phenomenal to watch. He’s already established himself — well, a long time ago and not just this year — he’s established himself as one of the best to ever put on a pair of cleats at that position.

And I think it’s great him being in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform. It makes me proud. I’ve gotten a chance to get to know him off the field and to see what type of guy he is. I love his personality and how he just bears it all.

He’s one of the best personalities — well, both of them are — both those brothers know how to bring it off the field as well. And I look up to that. Because that’s something I wish that when I was playing, I could’ve done a little bit more of.

But what he’s done with the position — it’s like a torch, you know. I took it from Shannon Sharpe, Ben Coates, and those guys. And me and Antonio Gates, and then Gronk takes it. And now Travis Kelce’s taken it, and it’s going to continue into this next generation — someone like Kyle Pitts down in Atlanta or Mark Andrews.

Travis has been an essential piece of the evolution of the tight end position.

Sportscasting: Yeah, you mentioned his personality. I’ve talked with him a couple different times in interviews similar to this, and he comes with energy no matter what he’s doing or what he’s talking about. He gets excited about everything.

So I asked him this question I’m about to ask you. Who is your Mount Rushmore of tight ends? You were on his list, as you should be. And as I told him, you can include yourself. I’m not going to ask you to be humble with me.

Tony Gonzalez: (laughing) Well, I’m not going to include myself with all these guys. I like Kellen Winslow.

Sportscasting: And that was his first answer, too.

Tony Gonzalez: That’s the guy. That’s the model that we’ve all looked to — that receiving-type guy that still blocked and all that good stuff.

I put Gronk up there. I put Antonio Gates in there. I think he gets overlooked sometimes. And I put Kelce up there, for sure. He’s already earned that spot up there.

There are so many great guys up there. I could go on and on. Shannon Sharpe. When he retired, he was the leader in yards and touchdowns, and he was in my division with the Broncos. So going against him twice a year, I got to watch him a lot and steal from him and what he did well.

And it just keeps going. And it’s just going to keep on going. The position just keeps getting better and better. I love it.

Sportscasting: I dig it. So I’ve got one last question for you. All season long, I’ve been running a tournament featuring every Super Bowl winner ever, and we’re down to the final two. As winners are determined by a fan vote, I wanted to get your pick on the title game. We’ve got the 1989 San Francisco 49ers taking on the 1992 Dallas Cowboys. So who do you got for the greatest Super Bowl winner of all time?

Tony Gonzalez: Between those two?

Sportscasting: Or just tell me who you think the greatest Super Bowl team of all time is, and I’ll throw that in there, too.

Tony Gonzalez: Man, that’s hard. What about the ’85 Bears?

Sportscasting: Yeah, they just lost in the semis. That’s who I thought would win the whole thing, to be honest.

Tony Gonzalez: I’d go with them because that defense was so good. You just couldn’t score because they were so good. And then Jim McMahon and Walter Payton. And Walter Payton didn’t really even have to do much in that game.

Sportscasting: And they still scored 46 points.

Tony Gonzalez: Yeah, I’d put the ’85 Bears as the best Super Bowl team of all time. But between the ’89 Niners and the ’92 Cowboys, I’d have to go with the Niners, for sure. Jerry Rice. Joe Montana. And besides, they were always my best team in Tecmo Bowl.

Sportscasting: (showing my age) Oh, you got that right. If it wasn’t Bo Jackson just running over people in Tecmo, you went with the 49ers. Tony, I know you’re a busy guy, especially this week. But I want to thank you for taking time out to talk with us today. All the best.

Tony Gonzalez: Thanks for having me.

I’d like to thank Tony Gonzalez for taking the time to chat with us, as well as our pals at Lippe Taylor Twelvenote for setting things up.