It's all about the karma
An hour before the gates of Gillette Stadium even open for tailgaters, Bob LaRochelle, his wife, Didi, and their friends Mark and Joanne LaPlante of Londonderry, N.H., are waiting in their car, the first in line. That's because the former Andover couple, who now live in Seabrook, N.H., "have" to be the first ones in the stadium, and they "have" to park in the same space every game. They achieve this feat by staying overnight in a hotel down the road where each couple has to stay in the same two rooms they have reserved for years.
Once they're in the stadium parking lot, the cooking equipment has to be set up in the same order as it always has been.
They do the same cheer before every game, always led by Bob LaRochelle.
"It's all about the karma," he said.
LaRochelle got a new piece of barbecue equipment last week | a Dutch oven | but he won't break that out until next season. That would mess up this season's karma, he said.
And, of course, they have to wear the same clothes. Bob LaRochelle has had the same Patriots T-shirt for so long that it now has to be dry cleaned because it would fall apart in the washer. His dry cleaner recently told him it was ripped and had to be thrown away.
"Fix the shirt," he said he told his dry cleaner.
The pillow fight for good luck
The living room in Louann Santos' Methuen apartment looks like a sports memorabilia store. But there's one item that is priceless to her | and very lucky.
During the Patriots' Super Bowl run in the 2001-2002 season, someone gave Santos a small, blue Patriots throw pillow. At the same time, the then-bachelorette was starting to get her friend Colleen Mota, also of Methuen, into watching the games with her. Mota held the pillow during those games. The Patriots won the Super Bowl. The rest is history.