Mass. Man's Family Helps Him Find Super Bowl III Connection

A Massachusetts man has had questions since he went to Super Bowl III. Now, his children are using social media to help him fill in the blanks in a story he's been telling for decades.

Back in 1969, two tickets to the third ever Super Bowl were left with a supervisor at Logan Airport for a man to pick up before his flight. That man never showed up, and that's where Ronald Fudge's story begins.

"I was supposed to give him the tickets. He wasn't there," Fudge told NBC10 Boston.

He says there are a lot of stories from his three decades as a mechanic at Logan Airport, but this one is his favorite.

Fudge says after contacting the man to whom the tickets belonged, he learned the man was dealing with a family emergency and wasn't going to make it to Logan. That man told Fudge to make sure the tickets were used.

"I picked up the phone, called my wife, and I says, 'I may not be home tonight,'" Fudge laughed. "And I was on that plane."

The Topsfield resident has been telling the same story for 50 years – so often, his kids know it almost word for word.

"Ah, the famous Super Bowl story of Super Bowl III," said Fudge's daughter, Deb, who sat next to him for the interview.

The story is about that time Fudge hopped a flight to Miami with two tickets in his hand for Super Bowl III.

When he got to the stadium, he met a 10-year-old boy who was trying to find a way in.

"I says, 'would you like to go to the game?'" Fudge recalled. "He says, 'naturally.'"

Fudge says he then made the kid call his parents to ask permission.

"They was happy as hell, naturally. Who wouldn't be?" he said.

Deb says it's important to note that tickets at the time were selling outside the stadium for hundreds of dollars. She says her dad, who got the tickets for free, would never have imagined making a profit off of them.

"We know my dad is an honorable guy, and the fact he never considered selling them has become more legendary than anything," she said. "What an awesome thing to surprise a kid."

Fudge sat alongside that kid as they watched what turned out to be a legendary game.

You might remember - underdog quarterback Joe Namath made good on his guarantee, leading the New York Jets to an upset win over the Baltimore Colts.

Fudge still gets a kick out of Namath's white cleats.

"That was hilarious," he said, chuckling. "No one had ever wore anything but black shoes."

But 50 Super Bowls later, the story still has a missing piece.

"The kid's name," Fudge said.

So, after the Patriots' victory on Sunday, Fudge's kids thought they might be able to come up with a win for their dad.

"You know, why don't we tweet it out, get it out there, and see if we can find the kid?" Deb said.

Her brother, Doug, who lives in California, posted his dad's story on Twitter.

"It just kind of exploded overnight, which is amazing," he told NBC10 Boston through FaceTime.

The story has been shared more than 4,000 times between Twitter and Facebook.

They're hoping someone, somewhere, will make the connection.

"Someone must know someone who has told this story at a Thanksgiving meal at least once," Deb laughed.

"I want to hear his side of the story, what it was like for him," Doug said.

Fudge has lived 82 years and considers that day one of his greatest adventures.

"I wasn't planning to go to the Super Bowl, I was just going to a regular work day," he said.

He always thought he'd reconnect one day with the kid he shared it with. And now, thanks to his kids, that just might happen.

"Ultimately, it would be fun to connect him with Pops. That would be great," Deb said. "It would be fun."

Her Pops agreed.

Doug says he's following up on many leads through social media. He says an NFL employee saw his tweet and is now going through archives to try and track down photos that might show Fudge and the kid.

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