Like it does on most Tuesday afternoons, my WhatsApp group messenger was dinging away today.
But this was no ordinary Tuesday. In fact, this might be the best thing to happen to me until the birth of my first child in June.
It has to do with a photo of who is probably the most recognizable person in Edmonton, especially as the Oilers keep impressing in the playoffs.
As my best friend Jamie was saying goodbye to her parents at the Edmonton International Airport on Tuesday, they spotted Edmonton’s darling.
Connor McDavid was preparing to travel to Anaheim for Game 7 in the Oilers’ Stanley Cup playoff series against the Ducks, and they just had to have a picture.
Jimmy and Rosalina Valeriano excitedly clutch on to McDavid as though he truly were a divine saviour sent to bring playoff glory to Edmonton.
McDavid, on the other hand, looks a little… afraid.
Watch below: Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid on airport fan picture: ‘That picture was a little bit weird’
The response from us girls was instantaneous laughter.
So I asked for permission to post the fantastic moment on Twitter, and then headed into a prenatal birthing class with my husband.
Two hours later, this had happened:
The photo of McDavid with the Valerianos had gone viral.
McDavid was asked about the picture on Wednesday afternoon in Anaheim.
“That picture was a little bit weird,” he said. “I don’t know how you’re supposed to feel comfortable when they’re holding you like that. I was pretty much in a death grip just trying to get on the plane as fast as I could but I was obviously stopped up pretty good there.”
Rosalina tells me it all started when her kids spotted another Edmonton Oiler, Milan Lucic, in the departures area.
“We took a picture with him, and then we proceeded to go to the gate,” Rosalina told me on the phone. “Then we saw (Darnell) Nurse and (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins, and we took a picture of them too.”
“And then I didn’t even know McDavid was standing there until [my daughter] Jamie told me about it – then I got so excited.
“So Jamie took the picture and I didn’t even realize that I was holding him with that grip until I saw the picture. I could not remember – I was so excited.”
Let’s break down what’s happening here again:
Rosalina firmly holds on to McDavid’s left forearm and beams with excitement. Afterall, her kids and granddaughter are huge Oilers fans.
But Jimmy! What’s going on there Jimmy!?
“My son was asking why he was trying to hold his hand,” Rosalina said. “But actually he was shaking his hand and then the photo was taken.”
So then maybe McDavid’s expression had something to do with this?
“After I asked him [for the photo], I said I think I’m going to have a heart attack after watching the game tomorrow! So I don’t know if that added to his reaction.”
Like the rest of us, Rosalina thinks the photo is downright awesome.
“I said oh my God, I am not sure if I should be happy or embarrassed, but the more I think about it, I shouldn’t be embarrassed. Like my children said, it’s an Edmonton pride!”
Watch below: A photo of uncomfortable-looking Connor McDavid and an Edmonton couple has gone viral. Slav Kornik reports on social media reaction to the photo.
The tweet has since received a lot of replies that made us giggle in the Global newsroom. Here’s a few that made us smile: