When we last left Gronk, Zoltan Mesko, astronaut Sunita Williams and Cosmonaut Andrei, their voyage aboard the Soyuz to the International Space Station had been thrown off course by an attempted zero gravity Gronk-spike. After overshooting the geocentric low orbit that would taken the crew and their load of supplies — including a highly anticipated delivery of fudge ripple ice cream and toilet paper — to the space station, Captain Williams and Cosmonaut Andrei set to reestablish control of the ship while punter Mesko worried about missing the Thanksgiving game between his New England Patriots and the New York Jets.
Gronk however has bigger concerns, namely a large flashing red button labeled GRONK going off near his head as he floats above the cabin floor.
INT. SOYUZ SPACECRAFT – DAY
Gronk: Hey, what does this do?
Cosmonaut Andrei: Там написано “большие лысые дети не могут меня трогать.”
Williams: It’s the Galaxy Rocket Optimal Nitrogen Kick. (Shooting a look at Cosmonaut Andrei before she speaks) You shouldn’t touch it.
Gronk: Nitrogen kick? Like in Fast and the Furious? Toyko Drift? 2 Fast 2Furious? (Eyes growing wider) Fast Five!?!?
Zoltan: That’s nitrous oxide. Nitrogen cleans out the engines before mixing the fuel together for ignition.
Williams: (Impressed) Did you study engineering? Looks like we might have a third astronaut on our ship after all.
Zoltan: My parents were engineers, I must have picked it up from them.
Cosmonaut Andrei: Инженеры Румынских ослиных телег, вероятно. (In English) You are very wise, Zoltan. Here, this has been stressful for you. Let me see if I can get your American football game patched in from our communications satellite for you to observe. Watching your teammates work without, what did Mr. Kraft call you? Long snapper?
Zoltan: (Irritated) Punter.
Cosmonaut Andrei: Ah yes, punter. Your teammates will need the support of their punter from space.
Williams: (Trying to defuse the growing tension between Cosmonaut Andrei and Zoltan) The game would be great. I’d like to have it on while we work. Gronk? Do you want to have the game on?
Gronk is only half-listening to the conversation, watching his name flash on and off with the temptation of a super car rocket so near. Williams finally pulls him from his daydream by floating over and handing him a football from his bag.
Williams: Gronk, come watch the game while Andrei and I try to get us back on track. You can use the time to start the space exercises to help your arm heal faster. Grip this ball with your broken arm and flex your muscles, they won’t weigh down on your bones up here.
One word got Gronk’s attention.
Gronk: Flex? Sure. Yeah. Time to flex. (Smiling) Bom-de-diddy-bom-de-diddy-tsshh-bom-de-diddy-boom. Dance music for my flexing.
They join the others near the monitor, but before settling in, Gronk looks back at his button one last time.
THREE HOURS LATER.
Cosmonaut Andrei: So you would have kicked there?
Zoltan: No, that was an interception followed by a touchdown. You don’t need to punt after an interception.
Cosmonaut Andrei: Then why did that guy kick the ball with his foot? Is that not a punt?
Zoltan: That’s the extra point kick.
Cosmonaut Andrei: You don’t kick that?
Zoltan: No, our kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicks that.
Cosmonaut Andrei: Do you don’t kick on the extra point?
Zoltan: I hold the ball for the kicker on the extra point.
Cosmonaut Andrei: But you kick the ball? You kick? Why is there two kickers?
Zoltan: I kick the ball when it’s a punt.
Cosmonaut Andrei: (Even more confused) So this Gostkowski holds the ball when you kick?
Zoltan: I hold the ball on my punts.
Cosmonaut Andrei: So when the team does not score, you kick the ball.
Cosmonaut Andrei: Your team scored, then the other kicker kicks the ball for a point. And look! Now he’s kicking it again with his foot. You kick then?
Zoltan: That’s the kickoff to the other team. The kicker kicks that. I’m the punter.
Cosmonaut Andrei: Ты так же бесполезный там на Земле, как здесь. (In English) So three types of kicks and you kick one of them, when your team doesn’t score. (Pause) 49-12? Your team probably doesn’t need you very much, unless you hold the ball. Who is holding the ball now for the kickoff?
Zoltan: No one, the ball is in a kicking tee.
Cosmonaut Andrei: You share a job with a piece of plastic?
Zoltan: Look Andrei…
Before Zoltan can tear into Andrei, the cockpit intercom goes off.
Dr. Kovalevsky: Baikonur to Soyuz, come in Soyuz. You guys still up there?
Williams: (Flips on the intercom) Soyuz to Baikonur, boy are we glad to hear your voice.
Dr. Kovalevsky: Where are you? The International Space Station is getting very low on ice cream and they’ve resorted to recycling old Popular Mechanics and Rodina for their biological cleanup.
Mr. Kraft: Is that my boy, Gronk? Gronk, are you up there? Gronk!
Gronk: Big Cheese! I’m here! Just doing my space exercises! Flexing!
Mr. Kraft: If that little Russian Mesko put you in this situation…
Zoltan: (To himself, knowing no one is listening to him) Romanian.
Mr. Kraft: … You just let me know. I can get another long snapper anywhere.
Zoltan: (To himself) Punter.
Gronk: No, we’re all good up here, Big Cheese. Sorry I made the space ship miss the space station. Just had to get my Gronk on, you know?
Mr. Kraft: Listen son, I know all about needing to get your Gronk on. It’s been a lonely time since Mrs. Kraft passed away, so sometimes a man just needs a little extra Gronk to release the pressure. Just don’t spike it so hard you break a hole in something now. You hear me, Gronk? We need you to return all safe and sound for the playoffs. No more extra Gronks.
Gronk: Yes, sir. No extra Gronking.
Gronk is suddenly very aware everyone is watching him as he speaks, so he purposely looks away from the area of the flashing GRONK button.
Gronk: Back in time for the parties — I mean playoffs.
Dr. Kovalevsky: Andrei, our calculations say you can catch up with the space station in two days? Does that match your numbers?
Cosmonaut Andrei: Yes, Dr. Kovalevsky. We shouldn’t have any other issues, если американцы ничего не будут трогать.
Dr. Kovalevsky: Good. Captain Williams, you might want to keep an eye out for your friends in the private sector flying by. We’ve been notified the SpaceX team is launching its Moon lander early. You should be able to see sail by later this evening.
Williams: Dragon is launching today? But they weren’t supposed to go the Moon until 2013.
Dr. Kovalevsky: It’s a test flight, they’re going to send their passenger bearing DragonRider up empty to see how it goes ahead of schedule, now that Mr. eBay has promised people can buy real estate on Mars.
Cosmonaut Andrei: Американцы продают свое барахло и это достаточно денег полететь на Марс. Такой декаданс! (In English) You must be excited. Maybe you can go to the Moon soon? Or Mars?
Gronk: Can we go to the Moon?
Williams: No, we need to save our fuel to get to the space station. (Smiling, with a touch of sadness) And you need to get back to Earth with a healed arm.
Dr. Kovalevsky: We’ll check back in with you in a few hours, Soyuz. Baikonur out.
Zoltan: No one asked how I was doing in space.
Gronk: (To Williams) Do you want to go to the Moon? Bounce around, play a round of golf?
Williams: First woman on the Moon. Of course, who doesn’t dream of going to the Moon someday?
Zoltan: I don’t dream of going to the Moon. I dream of getting us back to the space station so I can get back to Earth. We play the Dolphins this week! I have a job to do.
Gronk: Dude, it’s Miami. You can miss one more week. Even Gronk knows that.
Cosmonaut Andrei: You are not needed in Miami? Why a dolphin? Was tiny fuzzy kitty cats already taken? Your football is very strange.
Williams: Let’s focus here, team. Zoltan, why don’t you help Gronk with his space exercises with the ball. Might be helpful if you worked out too so your kicking leg doesn’t atrophy too much. Andrei, let’s spin the Soyuz around so at least we have a good view of the DragonRider going by.
Gronk pulls an extra football out of his bag and gently floats it over to Zoltan, having learned his lesson about spiking in zero gravity. Zoltan halfheartedly kicks it back.
Zoltan: Why do you keep asking about the Moon? You have everything on Earth.
Gronk: I don’t know. Seems like it would be fun to go the Moon.
Zoltan: Everything is fun for you. Going to Dunkin’ Donuts is fun for you. People send you space to make sure you’re having fun while your bones heal so you can have even more fun. People like me get sent along to make sure you don’t have too much fun, do you know how depressing that is? ‘This guy has so much fun, it might be bad for him. Make sure that doesn’t happen.’ On top of that, I keep getting called the long snapper. No one misses the punter or the long snapper apparently.
Gronk: Who is our long snapper anyway?
Zoltan: See what I mean?!?
Williams: (From the front of the Soyuz) Gronk, Zoltan. Come over here by the window, DragonRider is coming up. Isn’t it beautiful?
Cosmonaut Andrei: Какой хлам!
Zoltan: Wow, it’s a lot bigger than our ship.
Williams: Room for nine people. You can practically live on it. Gronk, don’t you want to come see?
Gronk has been lingering at the side control panel, near — you guessed it — the flashing red button shouting his name.
Gronk: More than just see it, I want to catch it to the Moon.
Gronk grabs a football out of his bag and spikes it against the Galaxy Rocket Optimal Nitrogen Kick button. Suddenly the Soyuz thrusts forward, catching everyone off guard. While Zoltan, Williams and Cosmonaut Andrei scramble to buckle in, Gronk using all the abdomen strength he can muster against the force of the exploding rocket, leans forward and fist bumps.
Gronk: GRONK ENGINE, ENGAGE!