Fans of ‘The Hudson Halftime Report’ will remember an interview we held with Patriots loyal ‘Young Gronk‘ at the beginning of our blog. ‘Young Gronk’ has become a common name amongst the Patriots nation, making local and national news when he spiked a Philly cheese-steak before Superbowl 52 (and then again, when he admitted his loss following the New England defeat). The man behind ‘Young Gronk’ has decided that it is time for his brand to develop and we have the deep pleasure of welcoming our new guest writer for the 2018 season – the newly rebranded ‘Spike King.’
Here is a little more on why ‘Young Gronk’ decided it was time to become ‘The Spike King,’
The Spike King
Firstly, I would like to thank the ‘Hudson Halftime Report’ for having me team up with them for the 2018 Patriots season, I love writing recaps and getting my thoughts out there for public viewing. It is going to be a really fun year and I’m grateful to have another platform to bring my passion, excitement, and entertainment to you, the fans.
So, we are here to talk about the end of ‘Young Gronk, ‘let’s start at the beginning…
The History of Young Gronk
Nearly five years ago I was going through a transformation in my personal life. I dropped a serious amount of weight, (300lbs to 19lb5) I felt like a completely new person, and during this process, a few of my close friends mentioned I had a look similar to Gronk. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see it, but seemed too. One night before a Boston Bruins game, a NESN reporter came up to me for an interview and called me ‘Young Gronk‘. After that night, I ran with the name.
As many of you know, my platform is social media however prior to the 2017 season I wasn’t pushing myself at all. Although my Instagram and Twitter had the ‘Young Gronk’ username, I was never active and used most of my energy on Snapchat; which meant that only those close to me saw my antics, (although my content was featured on the ‘national’ Snapchat story multiple times. I saw Snapchat as my way to work on my style, my confidence and a way to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I was running with the ‘Young Gronk’ persona but I wasn’t pushing it to its full potential; that all changed on December 17th, 2017 during a New England vs Pittsburgh game.
The Instagram Conversion
The Bud lights were flowing and I was feeling it. I’d posted myself on Snapchat multiple times during the game and had been featured on the NFL Story twice when I was shushing the Pittsburgh crowd after the final score; that night ‘Young Gronk’ was viewed by over 1.5million Snapchat users. This moment started a reaction. When the Patriots got the ‘W’ in Pittsburgh I decided to make a quick reaction video on Instagram, which got 65k views overnight despite my account only having 300 followers at the time.
I knew then I was onto something and that it was time to push forward. Fast forward to the NFL Playoffs, I was ready to make some videos. I started by calling out the Titans in a quick video; we got an easy win and moved onto Jacksonville. This time I decided to call out the fan base and get some excitement going, which brought in a ton of buzz and chatter, however when the Eagles won the NFC title match I was ready to go one step bigger.
I drove down to Philly, filmed a ton of videos, and released them one-by-one during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, culminating in my famous ‘Cheesesteak Spike’ video. It was a fun week and win or lose, I knew I had something that could be built on in seasons to come. It was also a pretty amazing feeling when the ‘Cheesesteak Spike’ went viral (Barstool/NBC Sports Philly) and it gave me the confidence to keep pushing myself even further. To entertain you, the fans. Actually, through the entire playoffs, I gained a whole new wave of support. Meeting all sorts of new people to talk with is the best part of my journey and it makes me so thankful for all the support you all have given me, which is why I take the time to write back to anyone out there that gets in touch.
I then went on to start the #GronkSpikeChallenge which I mentioned in my first interview with the Hudson Halftime Report, that can be read here.
The End of Young Gronk
Behind the scenes, I kept pushing for something bigger and better (and still to this day, however, I can’t officially announce anything just yet because its still being finalized). but I came to the realization that if I wanted to keep on moving forward I would have to drop the ‘Young Gronk’ name. ‘Young Gronk’ has gotten me this far, it fits a character, it fits me personally but unfortunately, we live in a world of business, trademarks and copyrights. Brian Babs, the face behind ‘Young Gronk’ has new opportunities on the horizon and it’s something I would never want to give up on in order to continue using a name. The Gronkowski family built their name through hard work and dedication, and is it fair for some jabroni from Boston to use the ‘Gronk’ name to possibly profit of it? No, it’s just not right. Although it’s not easy to let go. I’ve been building this brand for a few years now and to be told its time to end it is a tough thing to hear. However, through talking with some of my closest supporters and asking their thoughts, I realised that everyone is 100% on board with me as a person, not just as the ‘Young Gronk’ brand.
The Spike King is Born
If you look back through this history, spiking has been as integral to my success as the Gronk similarities. I spiked a cheesesteak in Philly, it went viral. I spiked a football to help raise awareness for Best Buddies, it went viral. I even spiked Clam Chowder, Baked Beans, and a Cooked Lobster to atone for my sins in Philly. Spiking is what I seem to do best!
Do I hope the ‘Young Gronk’ name makes a return? Absolutely. I hope that respecting the Gronkowski Family name can possibly open the door up to talk with them about a future collaboration but for the now, its time to continue pushing on with the ideas and plans at hand. A few things are brewing and I absolutely cannot wait for them to finally go out there for the world to see.
Again, I thank you, the fan, for supporting me through the process. Lets make 2018 the best season ever!
Young Gronk The Spike King.