TONY GONZALEZ BIO Since entering the NFL over a decade ago, Tony Gonzalez has established himself as the premiere tight end of his era and one of the greatest to ever play the game. From the moment he was selected by the Chiefs with their first pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, Gonzalez has used his blazing speed and athleticism to revolutionize the role of the modern tight end. He is endowed with outstanding leaping ability which, combined with an amazingly flexible 6’4” frame, permits him to stretch out and pull down seemingly impossible catches. During the 2008 season, Gonzalez became the all time leader in reception yards for a tight end with 10,064, surpassing Shannon Sharpe. He recorded 96 receptions for 1,058 yards and was also elected to his 10th Pro Bowl. In 2007, Gonzalez crushed the record for career receptions by a tight end with 816. With no signs of stopping, Tony also broke the record for career receiving touchdowns by a tight end with 66. In 2004, Gonzalez led the entire league in receptions and posted the all-time, single-season record for catches by a tight end with 102. As a result, his record-setting jersey now hangs at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tony credits much of his gridiron talent to his basketball background, highlighted by his trip to the NCAA Tournament’s “Sweet 16” with Cal Berkeley. Now, with 10 straight Pro Bowl bids and more receptions, yards, and TD catches than any other active player at his position, this future Hall of Famer has set the gold standard against which others are weighed and he is looking forward to stepping on the field in 2009 in his first season as an Atlanta Falcon.
But the true finesse of Tony Gonzalez is actually displayed off the field. He has transcended the label of athlete to become recognized as a celebrity, a businessman, and a philanthropist. He loves meeting new people and enjoys talking to fans, which has allowed his fan base to grow beyond the sports realm.
In 2008 Tony was featured as a celebrity host judge in Oprah’s first ABC primetime series, “Oprah’s Big Give.” It was the most highly anticipated show of the year and garnered the number one position for its time slot, proving that Gonzalez has what it takes to be one of the most recognized T.V. personalities in the industry. Gonzalez has also hosted a variety of programs including ESPN, Rome is Burning, NFL Network and a reality T.V. show “Super Agent,” which aired on Spike T.V. But his on-camera work is not limited to hosting. Tony has an impressive acting resume that boasts the film “Any Given Sunday” along with HBO’s “Arliss,” ABC’s “Married to the Kellys” and UPN’s “Cuts.” Tony has been cast in numerous ads, promotions, and PSA’s for everything from Reebok to Edge Shaving Gel and this past season he starred in NBC’s hit Sunday Night Football commercial with Faith Hill. His heartthrob looks have landed him in countless publications and special issues like PEOPLE En Espanol’s “Top 20 Most Sexiest Eligible Bachelors” and ESPN’s “The Worlds Twenty Most Sexiest Athletes.” From acting to presenting at the 2008 ESPY’s, to introducing Jennifer Lopez at the Latin Inaugural Ball, Tony has done it all and will continue to electrify the entertainment industry.
Gonzalez is also a savvy businessman and investor. He has been affiliated through contracts and endorsement agreements with major companies like Nike, Reebok, Coca-Cola, and Sprint. He also holds ownership interest in a diverse array of business ventures: Xtreme Clean 88 cleaning service (Kansas City), Atlas Farnese Travel Corporation (New York), and New Horizon Group Homes (Napa County).
Despite all this, what Tony treasures the most is the chance to spread a positive message through community endeavors whether with the Falcons, the NFL, Latino organizations, or his own foundation. Gonzalez has made health and nutrition for children one of his primary causes to speak on. Tony wrote a book which was published in 2009 called the ’All Pro Diet” which helps promote clean eating, nutrition and the importance of physical activity. Tony and his wife October were also featured in a 2009 Ad for PETA which is another cause he advocates. In 1998 he created the Tony Gonzalez Foundation to support his philanthropic efforts through the Shadow Buddies Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and other organizations pertaining to health and fitness for kids.
Tony Gonzalez’s football prowess, superstar quality, business acumen, and genuine compassion set him apart as one of today’s most accomplished professional athletes. He not only possesses an unquenchable thirst to be the very best at his position, but carries the desire to do the same in all other avenues of his life. With such strong qualities at the heart of his success, Tony Gonzalez has undoubtedly created the path to an even brighter future both on and off the field.