Rob Gronkowski Dedicates Patriots Win to His Late Friend

'I was just pointing up to him because I know he's up there watching.'

Rob Gronkowski is usually one of the most jovial personalities in the Patriots locker room—especially after a win. But that wasn’t the case Sunday, due to the recent passing of one of his close friends.

Gronkowski missed practice Friday because he learned at 3:00 a.m. that his friend and personal trainer Dana Parenteau passed away earlier in the week at the age of 42. On Sunday morning, Gronkowski posted on Facebook that he was dedicating the game to him. The Patriots routed the Titans 33-16 and are in position to secure a first-round bye for the sixth consecutive year.

Rob Gronkowski Touchdown CatchBrady connected with Gronkowski for a 13-yard touchdown pass early in the Patriots’ first drive of the game and then found him in the end zone three plays later to open up the scoring. Before Gronkowski spiked the football into the ground, he pointed up to the sky.

An emotional Gronkowski, who says he met Parenteau five years ago, expanded on his feelings after the game. Gronkowski arranged for five of Parentau’s family members, including his fiancee, to attend the contest.

“He was at every game with my family, a close family friend,” Gronkowski said. “He loved the game of football, loved being at all my games, always had my back. I definitely made that score for him.”

Gronkowski made sure to retrieve the football after his patented spike and reportedly plans on presenting it to Parenteau’s family at his funeral. He now has 65 career touchdown receptions in 67 starts, which is more than any other tight end in the Hall of Fame, but the touchdown he hauled in Sunday may have been one of his most meaningful.

“He loved pumping me up before the games and loved [the team] to go out there and ball,” Gronkowski said.” That’s what we did today.”