TJ Gretzner: Where is the Ex-Competitive Tickling Participant Now?

If there’s only one word we can ever use to describe TJ Gretzner, it would have to be determined, considering the way he has navigated all aspects of his life over the past decade and a half. Unfortunately, he has had to endure a lot, as explored in HBO’s ‘Tickled,’ but he never gave up on his dreams and continued down the path he had decided for himself for all the right reasons.

TJ Had Agreed to be Tickled to Help Out His Family

Victorville, California, native TJ graduated high school in 2008 as a football star — Wide Receiver and Slot Back—following which he set his eyes on turning pro no matter the league. However, just a short while later, he found himself facing an opportunity where he had to be tickled on camera in exchange for roughly $2,000 — it was for competitive endurance tickling (CET).

TJ admittedly found this whole concept a bit strange, yet he agreed to follow through since one of his family members was battling cancer and their tight-knit household was, thus, facing money issues at the time. But what’s strange is he claims he was never once told this contest would only involve men, let alone the fact he’d be tied up or the number of his fellow participants tickling him would gradually increase over time. Instead, what was apparently conveyed to him was that this entire ordeal was an experimental exercise for the army — a form of torture they were allegedly considered — which he’d already guessed was a lie.

Nevertheless, TJ wasn’t too worried because he hadn’t explicitly agreed for his video to be posted anywhere, only to find the introduction he’d done for the competition to be uploaded on YouTube around 2014-15. He initially contacted the organization responsible in the hopes they would remove the tape without any issues but they never even responded, driving him to directly report the matter to the streaming site itself. They took it down within mere hours, and that’s when the former contestant claims to have begun receiving countless crude, harassing messages — his family, friends, employers, etc., were on the receiving end of this too. Therefore, he later did try to sue the production company behind it all, yet to no avail.

TJ Did Manage to Pursue His Football Dream

While TJ Gretzner candidly conceded in the original that several doors closed for him owing to the circulation of the tickling video because many did not want to associate themselves with such matters, he soon managed to not just recover but also turn pro. In fact, until his decision to officially retire from the field following an October 2022 championship win, the Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident was a proud Wide Receiver and Slot Back for the New Mexico Titans. He, thus, had an over two-decade-long playing career, at the end of which his stats clearly indicated he still did a 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds, a 100-yard dash in 10.8, and a 4.4 shuttle.

As for what he has been doing since, it appears as if TJ is now focusing his efforts on coaching — he’d already acquired significant experience before he retired, but now he’s utilizing the same on a much grander scale. From what we can tell, he’s not only coaching the baseball Little League in his local area but also has a role in the Los Lunas High School varsity football team’s staff. We should specify that it was actually in February 2023 that TJ officially announced his retirement, deciding to let go of his responsibilities of the ball on the field and instead taking it off the field because he still loves the game — his family, faith, and the sport are all his true love.

TJ Works as a Serviceman and is Devoted to His Family

Ever since retiring from playing professional football, it appears as if TJ has zeroed in on some of his other interests, including spending quality time with loved ones as well as blue-collar jobs. In fact, professionally, he has likely done the necessary background work to evolve into a serviceman — after all, he now proudly does door and window cleanings and repairs across his base state of New Mexico. As for his family, we’re happy to report that this California native turned New Mexico resident is a happily married father of two — he has a little girl, followed by an adorable boy. So of course, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for him next.

Read More: David D’Amato: How Did the Alleged Tickle Fetishist Die?