February 14, 2011 / 10:12 PM / in 7 years

Man who "Never Missed a Super Bowl" dies at 79

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - One of the four men featured in a Visa credit card commercial for having never missed a Super Bowl has died, after having to watch the last one from the hospital.

Bob Cook, 79, described by his widow Sarah as a “die-hard (Green Bay) Packers fan,” woke up the morning of February 3 feeling weak, and was hospitalized for a blood infection.

“We were packed and ready to go,” said his wife.

He watched the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV, the National Football League Championship, on February 6 from a Milwaukee-area hospital. “It was a big disappointment that he couldn’t go to the Super Bowl,” Sarah Cook said. Bob Cook, 79, died last week.

Cook and three other members of the “Never Missed a Super Bowl” club appeared in a Visa ad played in the weeks leading up to the game.

Bob Cook was for many years a Packers season ticket holder and used to run Packers motorcoach tours around the Midwest. Cook had organized a group to go to the first Super Bowl, which the Packers won, Sarah Cook said.

”He ran those tours for a number of years until he couldn’t put together a profitable package,“ Sarah Cook said. ”At that point, he decided to keep going on his own.

Cook first met with others who had not missed a game about nine years ago. They used to go to dinner together the Saturday before the game. Several years ago, the NFL recognized the men and started making sure they had a block of seats together.

Sarah Cook said her husband liked to say he “bled green and gold” -- the Packers colors.

“He just enjoyed his Pack,” Cook said. Sarah Cook said her husband taught his children and grandchildren to sing the Packers fight song, and he started singing it at the hospital after the team scored their first two touchdowns in this year’s game.

Writing by Mary Wisniewski, reporting by John Rondy. Editing by Greg McCune

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