Meet Dion Rich. Dion is a gate crasher. He’s snuck his way into more than 30 Super Bowls without a ticket. Impressive but that doesn’t really give Dion proper dues, it’s not just the Super Bowl. He’s also successfully burgled into boxing title fights, triple crown races, World Series games and even the Academy Awards. His Jack Bauer like skills knows no bounds.
In 2002, Rick Reilly, then of Sports Illustrated, followed him into Super Bowl XXXVI. This feat was a little more challenging. Being only a few months after 9/11 Dion Rich had never seen security quite like this. This mattered little.
He doddered, darted, acted addled and hurried, slunk through tiny spaces and sped through unguarded ones. He was Frogger Senior. He never stopped walking and never started hearing. He nudged his way through the masses at the first security checkpoint and ticket check, waited until a young guard (he always looks for the youngest) had her head buried in a bag, sidestepped past her and through the one-foot gap between the metal detector and a fence. Then he buttonhooked a distracted wand man, did a pirouette around a bored National Guardsman that would’ve made Fred Astaire weep and then beat it up a ramp. He was never security-screened. Thank God he’s on our side.
What’s most impressive is that getting into the stadiums is just the first step of his adventure. Once inside, anywhere in the stadium is fair game. This accompanying photo is from Super Bowl XII when Tom Landry was carried off the field after a Cowboy’s win. See that man hoisting him up, that’s Dion Rich and he didn’t buy a ticket that day either.