Conversation between strangers on LRT leads new Edmontonian to 1st hockey game, free of charge
What started as a simple conversation between fellow transit users in Edmonton ended with a newcomer to the city attending his very first hockey game. And the two men even have the jerseys to prove it!
Local hockey fan Rob Ford was on the LRT, heading to the Oilers game on Tuesday night when he struck up a conversation with a complete stranger, Imron Andrews.
“I see this guy there and he’s kind of looking at the maps and you can kind of tell he’s new to the city and he just wants to go downtown to see some sights,” Ford explained.
“He commented on, ‘What’s that beautiful building there?’ I said, ‘That’s Rogers Place. That’s where I’m going tonight to watch the Oilers.'”
The pair got to talking and Ford quickly learned Andrews is originally from Grenada. He lived in Toronto for about 12 years and moved to Edmonton just two weeks ago.
The biggest takeaway from their conversation was that Andrews had never taken part in one of Canada’s most beloved pastimes: seeing a hockey game live in action.
LISTEN: Rob and Imron speak with the 630 CHED Afternoon News
As it turns out, Ford just so happened to have an extra ticket to the pre-season game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place. As any true hockey fan would, Ford invited his new friend to the game.
“He actually asked me if I wanted to come,” Andrews said. “I said yes… Why not go to a hockey game? He was generous to give me one of his tickets and we came and had a great time.
“It was my first hockey game.”
Andrews bought the beer and Ford bought the snacks. And as it’s been doing for decades, the game of hockey brought together new friends.
“We had a great time,” Ford said. “He was funny because he was kind of cheering for the Canucks just to get a couple goals so it was competitive. He felt bad the Canucks were losing so bad.”
“It was nice. It was beautiful,” Andrews said. “I like to see the skaters skate and the fans cheering. It was exciting for me because it was my first time… The six goals, that was my favourite part of the game. Just watching those guys hitting the puck in.
“I plan to come to another Oilers game, that’s for sure. Not just Oilers, hockey in general because being there for the first time, I loved it and it’s something I’m really looking forward to doing again.”
While at the game, Ford took a selfie of them and posted it on Twitter with a clever limerick. The tweet quickly went viral, receiving more than 700 retweets and over 5,000 likes by Wednesday.
“I thought it would get like, 20 likes or something like that,” Ford said of the overwhelming response to his story.
“It was pretty amazing. A lot of good words from people – things like, ‘Faith in humanity’ and stuff like that. It’s just a small thing and it just made me feel real good.”
The tweet caught the attention of the Edmonton Oilers organization, which arranged for both men to receive a brand new Oilers jersey. They met back at Rogers Place on Wednesday afternoon to receive their new gear.
The Oilers went on to win the game 6-0.
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