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3 Lifelong Friends Have Attended All 58 Super Bowls

By Orgesta Tolaj


26 February 2024

Super Bowl tradition

© VOA News

Are you a huge football fan who looks forward to the Super Bowl every year? Do you have a group of friends who share the same passion for the big game? If so, you may understand the importance of having friends who are there to watch the game with you year after year. For some, attending the event with friends has become a cherished tradition that strengthens their bond over the years. Here is why this Super Bowl tradition is so important.

The Super Bowl Tradition Amongst Friends

Three friends, Don Crisman, Gregory Eaton, and Tom Henschel, all in their 80s, share the sentiment that as long as they have each other, they will continue attending every Super Bowl. They are the last remaining members of the exclusive “never missed a Super Bowl” club. They gathered in Las Vegas for the 58th installment of the event and hope to attend the sixtieth edition in two years. Despite their age, they are still making efforts to attend the game together, including arranging last-minute plans. They have a tradition of meeting for brunch on Fridays before the game.

How It All Started

Gregory Eaton, 84, who operates a ground transportation company in Detroit, has been particularly engaged in this year’s football playoffs due to the success of his cherished Detroit Lions, who won playoff games for the first time in over three decades. Although the Lions narrowly missed qualifying for their inaugural Super Bowl, Eaton expresses that the real allure of attending the big game annually is the companionship with retirees Don Crisman, 87, and Tom Henschel, 82. Despite being a Lions fan, Eaton hopes he will be in good health to attend the event in two years.

super bowl tradition
© AP News

The trio has attended every Super Bowl since the inaugural AFL-NFL World Championship Game in 1967. While Crisman and Henschel met at the 1983 Super Bowl, they only met Eaton in the mid-2010s. Despite considering letting go of the tradition in the past, they continue to attend each year. They belong to a dwindling group, including media members, football executives, and groundskeepers, who have attended every date. Norma Hunt, the wife of late football pioneer Lamar Hunt, was the only woman to have attended every event until her passing in June.

What Iconic Super Bowl Moments Have They Witnessed?

The three men, who have witnessed numerous iconic moments in the event’s history, cherish personal memories beyond famous plays like the “helmet catch” or missed field goals. Don Crisman’s home is decorated with rare memorabilia, including a hat from the first Bud Bowl. Gregory Eaton recalls receiving tickets to the first event from a friend who played for the Green Bay Packers, while Tom Henschel remembers his excitement for Super Bowl 3 because of Joe Namath’s Pittsburgh roots.

super bowl tradition
© AP News

Crisman received complimentary tickets for this year’s game from Verizon, making travel easier than his journey to Super Bowl 2 in 1968, which involved a lengthy train ride. The men fondly reminisce about the days when Super Bowl tickets were much cheaper, with face-value tickets costing as little as $8 or $12, contrasting sharply with today’s prices exceeding $7,000.

Is There Any Way for Their Super Bowl Tradition to End?

The fans unanimously stated that the only thing that could prevent them from attending the Super Bowl is if one of them, or themselves, faced health or mobility issues. Despite recent health concerns, they all feel well enough to attend this year’s game and are already planning for the next two. Don Crisman mentioned that health could be the decisive factor, emphasizing that he attends for enjoyment and camaraderie rather than being the last remaining attendee. They intend to reassess their ability to attend in December 2024.

Would you ever consider starting this Super Bowl tradition with your own friends?

You might also want to read: Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows Of All Time

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!