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Subject: the journey and making
Content: Donald Crisman has more than a half-century of Super Bowl memories behind him <a title="Jonathan Cooper Color Rush Jersey" href="http://www.authenticssanfrancisco49ers.com/cheap-jonathan-cooper-jersey">Jonathan Cooper Color Rush Jersey</a> , from taking a 24-hour train ride to Super Bowl II to seeing his beloved New England Patriots win in overtime last year. But he says the 52nd Super Bowl featuring the Philadelphia Eagles and the Patriots on Sunday just might be his final big game. The 81-year-old resident of Kennebunk, Maine, is a member of the ever-shrinking ”Never Miss a Super Bowl Club” that’s attended every season finale since its inception in 1967. He has bought his own ticket every year except one. Crisman was featured in a 2010 Visa commercial along with three friends who had attended every Super Bowl. He is attending this game with a heavy heart because friend Larry Jacobson of San Francisco died last fall. Crisman said attending the game without Larry would be different, and he might not have gone if the Patriots weren’t in it. He shared some of his favorite memories with The Associated Press. — LAST TIME IN MINNEAPOLIS Crisman prefers the warmer venues for the Super Bowl. But he has fond memories of the last Super Bowl in Minneapolis – in 1992 at the now-gone Metrodome. He has a hat from the game bearing the Super Bowl XXVI logo that was signed by Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, quarterback Mark Rypien and wide receiver Gary Clark. He is bringing it with him to this year’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium, built on the site of the old Metrodome, to ”show and tell it.” — SUPER BOWL THAT ALMOST WASN’T Crisman’s trip to the second Super Bowl in 1968 was an odyssey. He had made arrangements to take a private plane to the game in Miami but an ice storm made it impossible to fly. Crisman was undaunted and managed to find a train that took 24 hours to get to Miami. ”I can’t believe how many times that train stopped,” he said. ”It was agonizing, to say the least.” — FAVORITE VENUES The Miami area, which will set a record by hosting its 11th Super Bowl in 2020 <a title="Hernan Perez Milwaukee Brewers Jersey" href="http://www.milwaukeebrewersteamshop.com/authentic-hernan-perez-jersey">Hernan Perez Milwaukee Brewers Jersey</a> , is Crisman’s favorite place to see the game. He’s also a fan of San Diego, which has hosted three times. Crisman is ”not a fan of these winter bowls,” occasionally held at indoor stadiums in Indianapolis, Detroit and Minneapolis. But when asked about his worst experience at a Super Bowl venue, he cannot think of one. — TOP PLAYS The Rhode Island native has been a Patriots fan since the team’s inception in 1960, so his favorite Super Bowl play of all time is fittingly James White’s overtime, game-winning touchdown last year. Previously, he was the subject of endless teasing because his favorite plays were a pair of field goals. Specifically, field goals that won Super Bowls for the Patriots in 2002 and 2004. ”I’ve been laughed at and kind of ridiculed. `You can’t have a field goal be your favorite play,”’ he said. ”Well <a title="Authentic JK Scott Jersey" href="http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/jk-scott-jersey">Authentic JK Scott Jersey</a> , I do.” — WILL HE KEEP GOING? Crisman’s crew at the Super Bowl included Jacobson and Pittsburgh Steelers fan Tom Henschel and Green Bay Packers fan Bob Cook, who also had attended every game. But the group has dwindled to just him and Henschel after the death of Jacobson last year and Cook, who died in 2011. He’s welcoming Jacobson’s daughter Heather on Sunday and expects to shed a few tears when she sits in what would have been her dad’s seat. His son, Don Jr., called his dad ”the most consistent force in football.” He said it will be different when his father no longer goes to the big game. After 51 Super Bowls and counting, the elder Crisman said that day might be coming soon. ”I’m thinking about it,” he said. ”But this year, I’m taking the Patriots.” Nathan MacKinnon was given a day off from practice, which created a little stir on social media. Turns out, nothing to fear. The Colorado Avalanche just wanted to give their top scorer and Hart Trophy candidate a little rest Monday before embarking on the postseason. Not many gave this team much of a chance to make the playoffs at the beginning of the year. Understandably so considering they were coming off a 48-point season. But here the Avalanche are <a title="Authentic Nate Solder Jersey" href="http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/nate-solder-jersey">Authentic Nate Solder Jersey</a> , about to face the top-seeded Predators in the first round beginning Thursday in Nashville. Colorado is rested, rejuvenated and carries a surge of momentum after needing to win its final game to secure its first postseason spot since 2013-14. ”We expect a lot from our group and know we can surprise a lot of people,” said captain Gabriel Landeskog, whose team finished the regular season with 95 points and matched the franchise record for wins at home with 28. ”This is when the fun begins.” The type of turnaround the team has made doesn’t happen that often in the NHL world. The last time it occurred over an 82-game season was when Pittsburgh also improved by 47 points from 2005-06 (58) to `06-07 (105). ”We didn’t expect this in October, but as the season progressed our confidence grew and grew,” MacKinnon said recently after finishing with 39 goals and 58 assists to wind up fifth in scoring. ”For the last month we expected to make the playoffs. For it to actually happen is very satisfying.” The turning point for coach Jared Bednar was in early December, when his squad wrapped up a 1-4 homestand. A similar thing happened a year earlier and it sent the team into an unrecoverable downward spiral. This time, it was different. The Avs found some traction and at the end of the month began a streak of 10 straight wins. ”The way (the players) handled that and responded there … starts making you a believer,” Bednar said. ”At that point, it became pretty clear we weren’t the same group and we’d push to the end of this thing.” Still <a title="Ender Inciarte Jersey" href="http://www.atlantabravesteamShop.com/authentic-ender-inciarte-jersey">Ender Inciarte Jersey</a> , they needed a 5-2 win over St. Louis in game No. 82, a winner-take-all affair, to secure their spot. For Bednar, it was one of his team’s best performances of the season. ”I want our guys to have fun, embrace it and enjoy it,” Bednar said. ”But I want us to dig in and be highly competitive.” Colorado will be without two key players for this series – defenseman Erik Johnson and goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who are both sidelined by knee injuries. Not only that, but the team has struggled this season against the Predators, going 0-3-1 and being outscored by a 17-8 margin. ”It’s not going to be an easy series. But if you want to get farther, you have to beat the best team and we start with the best team <a title="Authentic Anthony Averett Jersey" href="http://www.baltimoreravensteamauthentic.com/anthony-averett-jersey">Authentic Anthony Averett Jersey</a> ,” goaltender Jonathan Bernier said. Avalanche players Colin Wilson, Gabriel Bourque and Samuel Girard all stepped up at a recent meeting and chatted about their ties with Nashville. They offered a little insight into the team they’re about to face. ”They all had some good things to say about their personnel,” Bednar said. ”We have a lot of input from those guys.” The Avalanche relish in the fact that just a year ago Nashville was the second wild-card team in the Western Conference and advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup final. They wouldn’t mind following that sort of path. ”It’s possible. It’s the playoffs. Anything can happen,” Landeskog said. ”It’s just a matter of taking it one day at a time, enjoying the journey and making sure you bring your best game at the best time.” Bednar was asked if he thought there might be concerns over his team being content to merely be in the playoffs. ”They’re a hungry group. They want more,” Bednar said. ”I don’t mind being the underdog. It’s a good spot for our team. We’ve been feeling that way all year long, that we were an underdog to get into the playoffs. We’re here.” — .