These gents have by no means missed a Tremendous Bowl. And so they hope to maintain the streak going

So long as they nonetheless have one another, they’re nonetheless going to go to each Tremendous Bowl.

That is the sentiment shared by three mates who say they’re the ultimate followers who can declare membership within the unique “by no means missed a Tremendous Bowl” membership. And so they’re again once more for quantity 58 — Tremendous Bowl 58 — this yr.

The three followers, all of their 80s, are Don Crisman of Maine, Gregory Eaton of Michigan and Tom Henschel, who splits time between Florida and Pennsylvania. The three are gathering this weekend in Las Vegas for the large sport, and so they’re hoping they will all make it to the sixtieth version of the sport two years from now.

The followers have sat collectively on the Tremendous Bowl earlier than, and so they have been nonetheless making an attempt to make last-minute preparations to do this for this yr’s sport this week. On the very least, they deliberate to get collectively for his or her annual pre-game brunch on Friday.

Eaton, 84, who runs a floor transportation firm in Detroit, has been particularly invested on this yr’s soccer playoffs, as his beloved Detroit Lions received playoff video games for the primary time in additional than three many years. The Lions fell simply in need of qualifying for his or her first Tremendous Bowl, however Eaton stated getting along with Crisman, 87, and Henschel, 82, is the actual draw of going to the large sport yr after yr.

In January 2005, Eaton confirmed off his tickets for the 2005 Tremendous Bowl whereas surrounded by different Tremendous Bowl packages and souvenirs. (Vicki Dozier/Lansing State Journal/The Related Press)

“Yeah, I am a Lions fan,” Eaton stated. “However in two years, I simply hope I will be in good condition to be there once more.”

The boys have attended each sport since 1967 when the primary AFL-NFL World Championship Recreation, the forerunner to the trendy Tremendous Bowl, occurred in Los Angeles.

This yr’s sport goes Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Crisman and Henschel first met on the 1983 Tremendous Bowl, however they did not join with Eaton till the mid-2010s. 

They’re a part of an ever-dwindling group of people that have attended each Tremendous Bowl, a bunch that has included media members, soccer executives, groundskeepers and others. Norma Hunt, spouse of late soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt, was the only real girl to attend each Tremendous Bowl till she died in June.

WATCH | Quebec tailgate creation turns heads at Tremendous Bowl LVIII: 

Behold, the Ballbecue: Quebec tailgate creation turns heads at Tremendous Bowl LVIII

Stéphan Genest got here up with the concept for the ‘ballbecue’ after tailgating in Los Angeles 15 years in the past. He spent years perfecting the design and development of his soccer formed barbecue.

The trio all say their private well being and mobility are the principle issues that would preserve them from attending. Well being issues have cropped up for all of them in recent times, however all of them stated they’re feeling properly sufficient to go this yr and planning on the following two.

“I believe that may be the issue that might positively tip it,” Crisman stated. “I am not seeking to be the survivor. I simply go for the enjoyable, and the fellows. We’ll see what this yr brings and handle it in December ’24.”

The three males have witnessed the entire most iconic moments in Tremendous Bowl historical past, however a few of their most cherished reminiscences of the sport are slightly extra private than David Tyree’s “helmet catch” in Tremendous Bowl 42 or Scott Norwood’s missed area purpose in Tremendous Bowl 25.

Crisman’s house is adorned with Tremendous Bowl ephemera, proper right down to a collectible hat commemorating the primary Bud Bowl, a promotion about beer that ran throughout Tremendous Bowl 23 in 1989.

A person wearing sports paraphernalia poses for a photograph while holding a football.
Crisman poses in a paraphernalia-filled room at his residence in Kennebunk, Maine, in January 2021. (Robert F. Bukaty/The Related Press)

Eaton received his tickets to the primary Tremendous Bowl from Herb Adderley, a good friend from Michigan State College who performed for the Inexperienced Bay Packers. Henschel remembers being particularly excited for Tremendous Bowl 3 as a result of New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, like himself, was from the Pittsburgh space.

Crisman hadn’t but acquired tickets for this yr’s sport as of mid-January, when telecommunications big Verizon stunned him with complimentary passes for himself and his daughter, Susan Metevier. Attending to Las Vegas might be a lot simpler than his journey to Tremendous Bowl 2 in 1968, which concerned a 24-hour practice trip to Miami.

The three males reminisce fondly in regards to the period when it was attainable to get a ticket to the large sport for $8. Henschel remembers getting a face worth ticket to Tremendous Bowl 3 for $12 on the day of the sport. This yr, the most cost effective tickets obtainable are greater than $7,000.

A person holds up a photo while posing for a photograph.
Henschel poses with a photograph of himself with Tremendous Bowl tickets at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta in February 2019. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports activities)

Henschel, a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, has a pleasant rivalry with Crisman, a New England Patriots fan, as the 2 groups have met ceaselessly within the playoffs through the years.

This yr, the Patriots didn’t contend, whereas the Steelers made an early playoff exit. However previous traditions die onerous, Henschel stated.

“It is humorous as a result of Don and I, he hates the Steelers and I hate the Patriots,” Henschel stated. “Each time we see one another for the primary time, we give one another the finger.”

It will occur once more this yr. And, they hope, at the very least a pair extra instances after that.

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