PORTLAND, Maine -- Three of their best friends have been to every Super Bowl, and this will be their last trip together to the big game.
They are all in their 80s, and have been attending every AFL-NFL World Championship Game since 1955, which was just 7 miles from the venue in Inglewood. The men will be meeting again at the game this year, but future meetings remain uncertain.
Don Crisman, a Maine resident who is 85 years old, stated that this will be his last game. Gregory Eaton (82), from Michigan, said he would like to continue attending, but that his health issues could prevent him from doing so. Tom Henschel is a football fanatic who lives in Florida during the winter months and believes that Super Bowl LX will be his last.
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Friends from faraway places use the Super Bowl as a way to get together, share memories and spend time together. Henschel, 80, says that they have come to terms with the reality that it will end some day in recent years.
"I think I still have a few more years. I want to reach 60. He said that "old man age is catching up with us all."
Crisman and Henschel met for the first time at the 1983 Super Bowl. Eaton was there to meet them in the mid-2010s. As their small group of Super Bowl fans has diminished over the years, Eaton and Crisman met again decades later at the mid-2010s. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were seated several rows apart last year at Super Bowl in Tampa.
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Last year, attendance was only 22,000. Eaton stated that the Super Bowl will be a bigger event this year with a larger crowd.
Because he believes that seeing Matt Stafford win a Super Bowl is his closest chance to seeing the Detroit Lions win it, he will be cheering on the Los Angeles Rams home team. Stafford was a Lions player for over ten years before he found stardom and success in L.A.
Eaton stated that football is his passion and that he spent $2,500 on his ticket. This was 400 times more than what the seats in 1967 cost.
Crisman, who is a Patriots fan said that he's "moving slowly, but I guess it's better than any other option" as he prepares for his last Super Bowl. They plan to meet up in Los Angeles on Thursday.
He stated that he had one caveat regarding the Super Bowl being his final.
He said, referring to the Patriots young quarterback Mac Jones. "One year at the time, but I feel we're very close to the end."