Never Missed a Super Bowl- But Was It Worth the Price You Paid?

The next Super Bowl is coming up at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX on Feb. 8. Visa is running an ad campaign giving away the opportunity to go to every Super Bowl for the rest of your life.  Their commercials tell the story of four men who have attended every Super Bowl since the first one in 1967.  One commercial features Larry Jacobson who states, “I’ve missed weddings, I’ve missed babies being born, but I have no intention of missing a Super Bowl… ever.”  See the Visa commercial about him here:

Some of my first thoughts when I heard about the “Never Missed a Super Bowl Club” were: How fun it would be to attend every Super Bowl and how lucky these guys are that the NFL gives them access to tickets at face value.  Not only has Jacobson been to every Super Bowl, he’s also been to the last 46 Rose Bowls and the last 11 Summer Olympics dating back to the 1968 games in Mexico City.

But the overriding thought that occurs to me is that these guys have paid a terrible price to feed their fanaticism for sports.  I couldn’t discover for sure, but apparently these men have missed the births of their own children or grandchildren to attend the big game.  They have stated that their quest to attend sporting events has caused some friction in their families.  I’m sure that’s an understatement!  Jacobson notes that his friends call him “Mr. Excitement” because he is so fixated on the game that he doesn’t speak to anyone.  In the commercial he states, tongue in cheek, that he can telepathically help a kick go through the uprights because he is so focused on the ball.

One can only wonder- what if he was as focused on his family?  Or the Lord?  What do the wives and kids think about dad/granddad missing weddings, births, and birthdays for a game.  One member of the club said, “My wife doesn’t play fair” referring to his attending every Super Bowl.  Can we blame her?  I don’t mean to be negative toward these men, but their story illustrates the rampant problem so many families face today- an absentee or very distracted father.  Dads, outside of your relationship with Christ, what could possibly be more important that your relationship with your wife and kids?  What message are we sending to them when work, sports, hunting/fishing, etc. clearly earns more of our time and passion than they do?  Of course, I’m not saying we have to give any of these up.  But I am saying that we need to evaluate our priorities and make sure the most important people in our lives get the best part of who we are.

Each of the men in the Never Missed a Super Bowl Club have the programs and ticket stubs from every game.  One day these things will fade away and they certainly won’t bring them along when they die.  Great memories?  Yes.  But last for eternity and live beyond themselves? No.  We fathers need to make sure we are investing in the lives of our family- that’s certainly something infinitely more important and will outlive us one day.  Dad, you only get one chance at raising your kids.  Give them your best.  Give your wife your best.  Though they’ll never make an ad campaign and commercials around your devotion to family, it’s something of far greater value on which to brag.

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2 Responses to “Never Missed a Super Bowl- But Was It Worth the Price You Paid?”

  1. I agree with you. I often think of the song by Harry Chapin, “Cat’s in the Cradle” when it comes to being involved in our kids’ lives. The importance of the memorabilia that we acquire during our lifetimes is mostly forgotten when we die, but the memories that we make with our children and family will survive for generations.

  2. You’ve already heard my rant about that commercial. What a shame to get to the end of a life, look back, and find it was wasted. I am thankful to follow your leadership at church and at home…..spending the days on what is eternal.