While the pre-teen prodigy known as Baby Gronk may be turning into a social media superstar, the 10-year-old won’t be getting the thumbs-up from the actual Rob Gronkowski. The four-time Super Bowl winner says the hype that the boys’ father is trying to generate for his outgoing offspring.
“It’s to the point where it’s awkward. It’s too far.”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 28, 2023
Baby Gronk’s real name is Madden San Miguel, and he has shown some true athletic prowess. He’s also been raised with strict nutritional guidelines, coached by former NFL players, and taught how to deal with fans and media by his father – who calls himself a ‘social media expert’.
The ‘Sports Dad’ in question is Jake San Miguel, who believes his son can become a global icon, in both sports and marketing. However, critics say the youngster is merely being exploited and pushed into an unwilling spotlight.
Rob Gronkowski feels the same way, and he says that despite the fact that he’s been approached to endorse the viral sensation, he’s not jumping on the bandwagon. The personable star laughed off the notion, but at the same time, expressed concern for Madden.
“Yeah, it’s to a point where it’s awkward,” the former All-Pro tight end stated. “It’s too far. Four weeks ago, my brother told me, ‘Yo, have you seen Baby Gronk?’ ‘Did I see him? ‘ I go, ‘His dad hit me up 500 times already.’ He goes, ‘Don’t do anything.’ The dad is so annoying. And this was like five, six weeks ago. And then all of a sudden, two weeks later, it’s coming out everywhere. My brother died laughing.”
In an era where every juvenile with a jockstrap has their own mix tape, Baby Gronk is a product of a system that feeds on youth. The idea of recruiting a junior high kid seemed like an alien concept just a couple of decades ago, but not in 2023. Kids are not only trained on the field but they’re also produced for prime time. Most top recruits have been filmed and interviewed as much as they have been weighed and measured. And it’s designed to (hopefully) make them more media savvy.
Madden San Miguel is an extreme example of that environment and his father, regardless of his intentions, has essentially set up his son’s life without much input from the boy himself. Instead, young Madden has basically spent his entire childhood training to be what he is today. Instead of playing, he’s been working. Working to be what his father envisions him to be: Baby Gronk.
Perhaps it’s best to frame the entire Baby Gronk situation with Jake San Miguel’s own words. Because they paint a very clear picture of the value he sees in his son. Not as the heir to his throne, but more like a return on investment:
“I’ve had a plan for my son since before he was born,” Jake told The Athletic. “It’s playing out now.”