McDavid on photo with fans at the airport: ‘A little bit weird’
There’s no question the so-called “orange crush” of fan fervor over the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs is at all-time high – and one adorable photo showing two fans posing with the team’s captain is making the rounds.
Ahead of game 7 Wednesday, team captain Connor McDavid was asked about fan support since the team secured a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“It’s exciting, the fans have been great, the support has been tremendous,” McDavid said to reporters in Anaheim. “You can definitely feel it; it’s special to be in Edmonton right now.”
The deciding game in the Oilers’ series against the Anaheim Ducks comes a day after a photo was released online, showing McDavid with two adoring fans at the Edmonton International Airport.
The two fans, Jimmy and Rosalina Valeriano are seen holding McDavid’s hand and arm while the team captain appears slightly uncomfortable.
“That picture was a little bit weird, I don’t know how you’re supposed to feel comfortable when they hold you like that, it was pretty much like a death grip,” McDavid said Wednesday. “[I was] just trying to get on the plane as fast as I could.”
“He wasn’t getting out of that one,” defenceman Darnell Nurse said. “He wasn’t going anywhere till that picture was being taken.”
The couple said they were taking their daughter to the airport Tuesday.
Rosalina said there was a commotion when they saw the Oilers players.
“Then my husband was screaming ‘McDavid is there!’, and I turned around and he’s right there, and that is when I lose it,” she said. “That is when I said ‘Can we please have a photo with you?’…I was calm, even though I was really excited. He smiled and said ‘Sure’.”
As for her grip on his arm, Rosalina said she didn’t remember grabbing McDavid’s arm, and she admits it might have felt ‘weird’ for McDavid.
“Looking back now, it feels like a mom being so proud of a son,” Rosalina said. “I do that to people I really care about or admire.”
The photo has gone viral, Rosalina said her son is a big McDavid fan, and was really excited to see the photo spread online.
As for the photo, Rosalina plans to frame it and hang it above her mantle alongside family photos – and she said she didn’t mean to hold his arm as firmly as she did.