EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Going Green

January 18, 2008

Very Superstitious

From tailgating in the same parking space all season, to making sure their jerseys remain unwashed, local fans of the New England Patriots have some quirky superstitions and routines, which they are convinced have helped their team win.

They've seemed to pay off this season | one in which the Patriots have already made history and are looking to lengthen their historic winning streak Sunday at Gillette Stadium against the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship game.

Here's hoping that in writing this story, we don't jinx it.

College pals hope they are good luck charms

What started as a plan to stretch the college partying out a little longer after graduation has turned into a good luck charm for the Patriots.

At least that's what Michael Shattuck and four of his friends, who bought Patriots season tickets in 1994, think.

Since then, the group | Shattuck, Ron Grasso and Richard Foohey, all of Andover, plus Josh Johnson of Roslindale and Justin Gould of Westford | makes almost every game a year. That core group of fans at Gillette Stadium week after week is a winning combination for the Patriots.

"That's what I like to think," Shattuck said.

Things have changed a bit since 1994. Back then, Shattuck paid $300 for his season tickets. There's a new stadium now and the men have different cars, better jobs, and better beer.

They've got different responsibilities, too.

On Sunday, Shattuck's stepson Matthew Donahue, 7, is in his first Cub Scout Pine Wood Derby. It starts at noon.

After he helps his son race his toy car, Shattuck will jump in his real car and race to Gillette Stadium, trying to make it in time for the 3 p.m. kickoff.

"Let's face it. The NFL is made for a group of 24-year-old guys," said Shattuck, now 37. "Over the years, I like to think I've grown up a little bit."

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