TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Back in 1967, Tom Henschel lived in Chicago and had the opportunity to go to the first Super Bowl in Los Angeles. When he also went to the second Super Bowl in Miami, he was hooked.
“I said after that third or fourth game, I have to go to every game,” Henschel recalls.
He worked in the airline industry, so he could travel easily. In those early years, he would show up outside the stadium waving money to buy a ticket or two.
“Sometimes I had a ticket in one part of the stadium and my brother had tickets way on the other side,” Henschel said.
He moved to Miami before the 13th Super Bowl. He wasn’t sure how he was going to get tickets for that game, but his wife had an idea.
She wrote to the National Football League with a little poem. It read: ‘Tom Henschel’s my name. Football’s my game. I’ve got 12 in this frame, and 13’s my aim.” She included a picture of Tom with the frame of all his tickets.
Sure enough, the NFL sent Henschel an invoice to buy four tickets that year.
The only year the NFL paid for his ticket was the 50th Super Bowl. Those fans who had never missed a Super Bowl were honored, and their seats were right on the 50-yard line.
Henschel and his wife have lived in the same house in the Town ‘n’ Country area for 40 years. He plans to cheer hard for the Buccaneers at this year’s game, but they are only his second favorite team. He’s a life-long Steelers fan.
His favorite Super Bowl memory was also right here in Tampa back in 2009 when the Steelers won.
“At the very end of the game, Ben [Roethlisberger] hits [Santonio] Holmes in the corner of the end zone and we win the game. It was crazy,” exclaimed Henschel.
He and his brother had seats in that end zone and had a perfect view of the game-winning catch.
Henschel is one of only six fans who have been in the stands for each of the Super Bowls. Let’s hope he’s just the good luck charm the Bucs need!