HAVERHILL — As the Patriots march deeper into uncharted territory — seeking to tie Pittsburgh's record for most Super Bowl wins by any team, and to set the record for most wins by a single quarterback — Rene' Gaudet is trying something new, too.
The Patriots super fan will not be celebrating on Sunday. She isn't going anywhere, and no one has been invited to her house, either. She won't be wearing a Pats jersey, or breaking out her franchise-themed cutlery for the occasion. Not even Super Bowl snacks will grace her table this weekend.
"I am like the death curse of the Patriots," Gaudet said. "It's legit."
Gaudet, of Haverhill, said that despite her "die-hard fan" status, she has to be careful when she celebrates the team, lest she cast her bad luck on them. She said she first noticed the trend when it came to jerseys. She bought a Tedy Bruschi jersey, he retired; bought Randy Moss' and he was traded; Vince Wilfork's contract option was not picked up after Gaudet bought his jersey; and after she bought a Martellus Bennett jersey, he retired.
"The minute I get your jersey, you might as well pack your bags — you're just done," Gaudet said.
The superstition doesn't stop at the jerseys, though. Gaudet said there are several other important rituals: she has to go to Mass on game days or the Sunday before, or the Patriots lose. Throwing a Super Bowl party? Completely out of the question, Gaudet says: She has twice, and both years, she watched the Pats come to a crushing defeat, first against the Giants and then against the Eagles.
"This year, we're just having a regular, simple meal," Gaudet said. "We're so superstitious."
With her plan in place, Gaudet said she feels good about Sunday's game against the Rams.
"I think they're going to pull it off. We had some shaky times this year, it wasn't pretty; but I feel good," she said. Reminiscing about the last time the Patriots went undefeated — ultimately losing the last game of the season, the Super Bowl — Gaudet said she would "rather get the losses done and out of the way early in the year."
If Tom Brady does bring home that sixth Super Bowl ring, Gaudet plans to take her 15-year-old daughter to Boston to see the parade.
"I would love a Tom Brady (jersey)," Gaudet said, "but I'm sworn that I can't get that until he retires."