Three friends are hoping for a great Super Bowl game this year, because it is likely to be their last as a group.
Don Crisman, Gregory Eaton, and Tom Henschel have gone to the National Football League championship game for 55 years. The first game they visited was in 1967.
Crisman, who is 85, lives in Maine. He said this year’s game in Los Angeles will be his last. Eaton, 82, lives in Michigan. He wants to keep going, but he worries about his health. Henschel is 80. He lives in Florida. He said his last game will be in 2026.
Henschel said the group uses the Super Bowl as a way to meet up and spend time together. They talk about old memories.
But in recent years, they understood the tradition might come to an end one day.
“Old age is catching up to all of us,” Henschel said.
Crisman and Henschel met at the Super Bowl in 1983. Eaton met them in the 2010s.
They are among the very few members of a group of fans who have been to every Super Bowl. Each year, some people die or cannot travel because of poor health.
This year, they will be able to sit next to each other. Last year, they went to the game, but could not sit close to each other because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Eaton said he is excited for a large crowd this year. Last year, in Florida, only 22,000 fans were permitted to watch the game.
Eaton is also looking forward to seeing Matthew Stafford play quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. Stafford used to play for Eaton’s favorite team, the Detroit Lions. The quarterback is the most important position on the team.
“We just love football,” Eaton said. He said he paid about $2,500 for his ticket, which is about 400 times the price he paid 55 years ago.
Crisman said he is moving slower than he was during the first game. He said this year’s game will be his last unless his favorite team, the New England Patriots, makes it to the Super Bowl next year.
“One year at time,” he said. “But I’m feeling we’re very near the end.”
I’m Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English based on a report by the Associated Press.
Words in This Story
excited – adj. enthusiastic and eager about something
ticket – n. a piece of paper that allows entry to an event or travel on a vehicle