Don Crisman of Kennebunk and his daughter, Sue Metevier, will travel to Miami to watch Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. Crisman has been at each Super Bowl since the first one in 1967; Metevier will be attending her sixth. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

KENNEBUNK — The New England Patriots may not be playing in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, but Kennebunk’s Don Crisman will still be there.

Of course he will.

The 83-year-old Crisman has attended every Super Bowl as a fan – one of three people who can claim that – and he’ll be in Miami this year even though his beloved Patriots aren’t. New England, which has won six Super Bowl titles, played in the last three.

“It’s a different feeling,” said Crisman. “It’s definitely more stressful when the Patriots are there. I’m concerned about the outcome. This is kind of relaxed.”

Crisman will be joined by his daughter, Sue Metevier, who will be attending her sixth Super Bowl. She has accompanied him for the last four. She serves as his manager and helps him get to all his commitments. And there can be many for a fan with his notoriety.

“She keeps us all organized with her phone, something I can’t do,” said Crisman. “And she does this Uber thing. No more rental cars. Once it gets dark, I’m in trouble with rental cars.”


“I just follow him around and manage things,” said Metevier.

Crisman is an original member of the Never-Missed-a-Super-Bowl fan club that was once featured on a Visa commercial. There were five at the beginning but now it’s just Crisman and Tom Henschel of Pittsburgh. Three members of the club have died in recent years – Stan Whitaker, Robert Cook and Larry Jacobson – and Crisman misses his friends dearly every time he goes. “It used to be a reunion for us,” he said.

But he still goes. He had thought about stopping after 50, but the Patriots kept winning. So he went.

“This year I have no excuse,” said Crisman. “I’m just going because of habit.”

It’s one that Metevier doesn’t want him to stop. “For me, this is more than just football,” she said. “It’s something that over the years I’ve watched him do, and watched it grow into this pretty cool thing. And I got caught up in it with him. It’s about keeping him young and moving around.”

Another fan who has been to each Super Bowl, Gregory Eaton of Michigan, was discovered a couple of years ago and will join Crisman and Henschel in Miami, where they’ll be feted at a luncheon on Friday.


“We have a little new life with Gregory,” said Crisman.

The three super fans will each have two seats – since 1999, the NFL has set aside tickets for them at face value – in the first row of the second deck right on the goal line at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.

Don Crisman holds a Super Bowl LIII football embossed with a Patriots logo and his signature. Wilson Sporting Goods the ball made for him. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Crisman isn’t sure who he’ll root for on Sunday – the Kansas City Chiefs or San Francisco 49ers. While he’s always rooted for the AFL or AFC team, there’s another consideration this year. He speaks regularly to the daughters of Jacobson, who was a huge 49ers fan. “And one of them made me promise to cheer for the Niners,” he said. “I made a promise. We’ll see how well it goes.”

Noting that the Niners are quarterbacked by former Patriots back-up Jimmy Garoppolo, Crisman said, “I wish we had him. But there’s no way that could have played out.”

He just wants a good game: “Overtime or down to the last minute.”

Crisman and his daughter will arrive in Miami on Thursday morning and will go to the NFL’s Media Center for his credentials, with interviews already lined up. “Susan has already set up a Little Havana dinner that night too,” he said.


On Friday they’ll attend the luncheon at Shula’s Steak House for the various people who have never missed a Super Bowl. And Saturday? “She’s in charge,” said Crisman.

Metevier, 52, hopes to be a typical tourist that day, looking forward to seeing Wynwood Walls, an urban graffiti art exhibition. She hopes to attend Rob Gronkowski’s Super Bowl party Saturday night.

“I have met him one other time for a millisecond at Super Bowl XLI in Houston because he wasn’t playing,” she said, adding she got him to sign a program at the media center. “I would like to meet him again.”

Last year Crisman wasn’t sure he could go because of a lingering bout with ulcerative colitis. He regained his health in time to keep the streak alive. And he plans to keep it going.

“I’m going to go as long as I can move around,” he said. “If they’ve got to put me in a wheelchair, I think I’ll quit. I don’t need that.

“In my wildest dreams, I never thought it would get this far. I’m blessed.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.