DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Most people would consider themselves pretty lucky to go to the Super Bowl just once. But there are three men who have attended all 45 Super Bowls. Don Crisman, Larry Jacobson and Tom Henschel call themselves the "Never Missed a Super Bowl Club." And Don Crisman and Larry Jacobson join us from Indianapolis, where they are getting ready for Sunday's game.
Mr. Crisman, Mr. Jacobson, thank you so much for taking the time out of your game preparations to chat with us.
DON CRISMAN: Hi, David.
LARRY JACOBSON: Hi, David.
GREENE: Tell me. How did this band get together? How did you all meet?
CRISMAN: Well, we - actually I started out with a club of five, but it diminished down to two. And now I'm the only original one left. We actually met Tom at the NBC studios in Burbank. We were standing in line to watch the Johnny Carson show.
GREENE: You do Super Bowls and late night television?
CRISMAN: Well, the Super Bowl happened to be in Pasadena, so this was our entertainment, going to see the Carson show. And one of the other gentlemen had a large bumper sticker on his back bumper that said, Never Missed a Super Bowl Club. Tom seen it, so we ran up and down the line asking who owned the car. And that's how we met.
GREENE: Well, Mr. Crisman, you said you've been doing this - you had a group of five originally. I mean, when you went to that very first Super Bowl 45 Super Bowls ago, I mean, did you say to yourself I'm going to go to every one my entire life, or how did this happen?
CRISMAN: No. I think I was living in Denver at the time, although I'm a New Englander. And what happened was some of the other members worked for the bank that sponsored the Broncos, so the tickets were easy to come by. I think the other part was I had this feeling that this could turn into the World Series of football. And I think I was correct.
GREENE: I think you might have been right about that. Mr. Jacobson, let me bring you into the conversation. When your first Super Bowl 45 games ago, what was your plan? Were you planning to do every one?
JACOBSON: No. I was going to do one.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
JACOBSON: I thought it'd be a good idea if I brought a date and impress her with football and impress her with me and impress her with spending big money. After all, the whole day was going to cost 100 bucks.
GREENE: A little less expensive than today, I guess.
JACOBSON: Yes. And she wasn't impressed with either the Super Bowl or with me, but I was impressed with the Super Bowl.
GREENE: Well, Mr. Jacobson, have you ever taken another date to the Super Bowl since then or was that, you gave up on that idea?
JACOBSON: No, no, no. I've taken dates to the Super Bowl. In fact, I took a date to Super Bowl XI and then I married her. So, after I got married, my wife said no more dates for the Super Bowl.
GREENE: Go with the guys.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
JACOBSON: Go with the guys.
GREENE: I know you lost a member of the club last year - Robert Cook from Wisconsin, a Packers fan. He was too ill to go to the game with you guys last year, as I understand it. Tell us about him.
CRISMAN: Well, he, Bob was a neat guy. We've known him 10 years. He was the last member of the, most recent member of the club. You know, he was - I guess I wasn't ready to accept he wasn't going to attend until game time. But two of his daughters joined us, and this Sunday his widow, Sarah, will be joining us and sitting with us.
GREENE: Now, your Patriots, Mr. Crisman, are in the game this year. I mean, does that add extra pressure? Are you distracted from, you know, some of the normal group events that you guys do? You feeling extra pressure?
CRISMAN: Yes. You know, you're happy they're here but it's kind of stressful. I have bad feelings, bad vibes, but I'm hope I'm wrong.
JACOBSON: It's very difficult for me 'cause I have to support the New England Patriots 'cause Don's a New England Patriot fan.
GREENE: You wouldn't naturally be supporting the Patriots.
JACOBSON: No. He tells me who to root for.
CRISMAN: Well. Of course, what we were hoping for is Patriots-49ers would have been perfect.
GREENE: Mr. Jacobson, are you a little worried your friend, the Pats fan, will be a little cranky if they lose?
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
JACOBSON: I would be surprised if he wasn't cranky. I'm just glad that I don't have to go with him if they lose.
GREENE: Are you guys excited about Madonna at halftime?
CRISMAN: I don't know. I just as soon we had '50s groups. You know, bring Diana Ross back, Chubby Checker or somebody like that. I'd be happy.
JACOBSON: Tony Martin.
GREENE: There you go. Well, the NFL, I hope you heard those suggestions from these guys for next year. Gentlemen, this has been a lot of fun. I've had the privilege of speaking to Don Crisman and Larry Jacobson, who are part of the Never Missed a Super Bowl Club. And they are, of course, in Indianapolis ready for the big game this weekend. Thank you, guys.
CRISMAN: Thank you.
JACOBSON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.