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Chargers' Super Booster

Jim Collins, 90, has been a fixture at most Edison football games and practices for 35 years.

September 22, 2010|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
  • Jim Collins, 90, has been attending Edison High School football games and practices for decades.
Jim Collins, 90, has been attending Edison High School… (KENT TREPTOW, HB…)

It was still an hour away from the opening kickoff of the big Edison-Dana Hills game, but Jim Collins was ready for some football.

While playing a waiting game, Collins studied the opposition warming up, taking note of it all in reserved silence. He then turned his attention to his team, Edison, becoming fully engrossed in its pregame rituals.

Again, watching in silence.

But Collins isn't a player on the field. He's a fan in the stands. No, make that a "Super Booster."

Collins is 90 years old but going on 70. Youthful, engaging and gregarious, he's been a fixture at Edison football practices and games, no matter the location, for the past 35 years.

"I love going to the games, supporting the team," he said. "It's just something I really enjoy."

He sure does. In 35 years, Collins has only missed eleven games. Three of those misses came last year when he went out of town with his wife, Lorrie, to attend her 60-year high school reunion in Chicago. That's 11 misses, both home and away. That's 10 or more games to attend a season. Counting three games into the current season, that's 403 games.

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Collins was 65 when he began his run.

"Talk about a super fan, Jim's a 'Super Fan,' " Edison Coach Dave White said. "His grandson played here and he's been to nearly every game and practice. He even goes to Hawaii when we play there. Jim's just a super, super guy who is very supportive of our program."

Even the players appreciate his presence.

"Mr. Collins is a just a great person, really," senior defensive end Charles Burks said. "He's out there supporting us every day, when things are good and when they go bad, no matter what. That's a true supporter. It's really cool that his has our backs."

On this particular Thursday evening at Huntington Beach High's Sheue Field, Collins sits among longtime Edison supporters, a group of about "eight or nine guys," he said, that he and Lorrie Collins call the Back Row Boys. The group is stationed at the top row of the home stands, perched at midfield under the press box. No matter what the stadium, home or away, it's the same spot and row where you'll generally find him watching an Edison game.

"I figure if I can't get a decent seat, whether it be at a ballgame or the theater, I'd rather stay home," he said.

"I'm the president of the Back Row Boys because I'm the only woman who sits with them" said Lorrie, his wife of nearly 16 years. It's the second marriage for both who lost spouses six weeks apart in 1990.

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