Rob Gronkowski opened up this week about the love he still shares for his hometown team, the Buffalo Bills.

Bills fans don’t seem to reciprocate.

Gronkowski will face the Bills for the first time since retiring from the New England Patriots and coming back to join Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ahead of the critical matchup, Gronkowski spoke about growing just outside of the city of Buffalo and how he and his friends idolized Bills players from his youth — which took place largely during the team’s Drought Era, a 17-year run without a playoff appearance. After Gronkowski’s remarks, many Bills fans remembered how the Patriots tight end helped to extend that era and the role Gronkowski played in one of the most notorious plays in the team’s history.

Gronkowski Loved Bills Growing Up

Gronkowski grew up in suburban Williamsville, playing football for Williamsville North High School before moving to Pittsburgh for his senior season. As a kid, Gronkowski said he would pretend to be Bills stars of the era when he and his friends played football. So when he has the chance to return to Buffalo or play against the Bills, Gronkowski said it’s always a special moment.