Since then, Mota always has to hold the pillow, no matter where she goes in the house | even to the bathroom | during a game.
"Let's just say when we went away on Saturday to Connecticut, I dropped the pillow off with her before we left," Santos said.
Santos also has to wear the same jersey | Tedi Bruschi | every game. Her husband, Greg, who proposed to her at Gillette Stadium in December 2006, also has to go and get it for her and hand it to her to put on.
The couple were married in a Patriots-themed wedding in November, but will wait until next month to take their honeymoon, so they can see the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
Santos is trying to pass her passion for football and superstition on to her Methuen friends | Erica St. Louis and Amy Krumsiek, whose 4-month-old daughter Annie, may be the next pillow-bearer.
"Louann is the biggest fan there is, and Annie's the littlest," Krumsiek said.
Perfect tailgating cooks up perfect season
The Graeme Millar Tailgaters, named for their founder and 15-year season ticket holder, have brought luck to the Pats by perfecting the art of tailgating. In addition to setting up heated tents, they put out a spread that can include anything from burgers to lobster. Hanging their specially made GMT banner is one of their good luck charms.
The core group includes Lawrence firefighters Millar, Frank Martin, Pat Driscoll, all of Lawrence, and retired Lawrence firefighter Al Pomerleau of Methuen. Also on the team is Pat Driscoll's wife, Pam.
They've got their superstitions, too. They wear the same jerseys and clothes every week, including Pam Driscoll. But she's different in one regard.
"I wash mine," she said. "They don't."
Millar is sort of like the group's mayor, putting out a newsletter every week that includes a bio on the best tailgater | tailgater of the year is Lawrence firefighter Mike Armano | and inviting others at Gillette Stadium to come over to their party.