For those who aren't familiar with the club, it's basically simple. Cook, along with Thomas Henschel, Larry Jacobson and Don Crisman are the only 4 known human beings who have attended every single Super Bowl. Until this year.
Henschel, Jacobson and Crisman attended Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, so they are now 45 for 45 in attendance. Cook, on the other hand, fell ill in January and was hospitalized in Milwaukee. His illness worsened and he was unable to attend the big game. He gave his tickets to his children, thus ending his streak at 44.
And the sad irony of this story is that Cook was a lifelong, die-hard Packers fan. He saw the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl from his hospital bed with his wife by his side. She even decorated the room with green and gold lights. "I'm just a die-hard Packers fan", Cook told the AP. His obituary ends with "GO PACK GO".
For those who follow the "Super Bowl Ads" craze, Cook was featured in the "Never Missed A Super Bowl" Visa commercial.
When Cook was hospitalized we didn't yet know the Packers were going to the Super Bowl. I believe his hospitalization occurred around the time of the Wild-Card round when no one could have fathomed the Packers winning three games on the road. But I'm sure there was no doubt in Cook's mind.
Was it an omen? How ironic is it that a man who never missed a Super Bowl and who is a lifelong Packers' fan, finally misses his first game the same year his beloved Packers returned to the promised land. This is one of those head-scratching stories. Amazing.
At least Cook (a Brown Deer, Wisconsin native) was able to see his beloved team win the championship before passing away. I'm sure from a far away place, he is saying, "Let's repeat!"