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Katie Brickman
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Moose Jaw man drives Sheets to Regina

Maclean Nelson has a lot of friends that won’t be talking to him for a couple days.

Maclean Nelson, a Moose Jaw native gave Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Kory Sheets a ride from Saskatoon to Regina on Monday evening. Submitted photo

The Moose Jaw native is more than fine with that though because he was the only person in the province that got to drive Saskatchewan Roughrider running back Kory Sheets from Saskatoon to Regina.

It was all about being on Twitter at the right time on Monday evening for Nelson.

“I am in Saskatoon at the U of S and I was just getting ready to go home to Moose Jaw for a couple days,” Nelson stated. “I saw on Twitter that Kory Sheets tweeted out the need for a ride to Regina. I tweeted at him saying that I was headed that way and I could drive him.”

The two proceeded to have conservation on the social media platform about arrangements for Nelson to drive the Grey Cup champion and MVP to Mosaic Stadium.

“He was originally supposed to fly into Regina, but his flight got cancelled,” said Nelson. “So, it was either be stuck in Minneapolis en route from Connecticut or fly into Saskatoon and find some way to get to Regina.”

Sheets did try to get a hold of some of his teammates, but no one could drive him, which resulted in the message he tweeted out just before 9:30 p.m. on Monday.

Nelson at first thought it was a joke that Sheets would ask regular fans for a two and half hour drive to Regina.

“It did run through my mind a little bit, but he interacts with his fans on Twitter and Instragram all the time,” said Nelson. “It didn’t really surprise me that he would ask for this, but coming off a Grey Cup win, it was a little shocking.”

Sheets wasn’t just about to jump into a car with anyone though as he asked Nelson some questions prior to giving him his flight information.

“He messaged me a bit and screened me a bit to see if I had a decent enough ride and that I was for real,” explained Nelson. “He wanted to know old I was, what type of tires I had on my car. I told him I drive an old 7 Ion with all season tires and they can get through any winter storm.”

After giving Sheets enough information, the two met at the airport.

“He direct messaged me on Twitter when his fight landed, so I knew when he was pulling in,” said Nelson. “I knew what he looked like, so as soon as I saw him come off the gate, I introduced myself and then we hit the road.”

In the 250-kilometer drive, Nelson manned the steering wheel and Sheets took control of the music.

“It was a lot of rap  — some DMX, A$AP Rocky, Nicki Minaj and a few other stuff I have never heard before,” said Nelson.

At first, Nelson was nervous about driving Sheets, but once they started talking, things began to feel normal.

“He was so easy-going and easy to talk to that we just settled right in,” said Nelson. “He was actually genuinely interested knowing where I was from (and) my family. I asked him about his family and where he was from, where he grew up and his time in university in Connecticut and how he got to the CFL.”

Nelson also showed Sheets pictures from the Green Mile, when thousands of fans descended onto Albert St. in Regina to celebrate the Grey Cup victory.

The two also talked about how Sheets made the transition to the CFL and what the team atmosphere was like this season.

“The TV definitely does portray him as a hot-shot, loud-mouth, but getting to know him personally was actually quite the contrary,” said Nelson. “He is very down-to-earth, very personable and just likes to hang out.”

Nelson didn’t want to be a “crazed fan” and ask too many questions, especially about Sheets’ future, but he did mention how all Rider fans want him to stay.

Despite being a big fan, Nelson forgot to get a picture and autograph from Sheets, but it ended well nonetheless for the fourth year commerce student.

“He got a hold of me the next day asking if I was still around. I went and got a picture with him and he gave me the jersey. It was a story-book ending,” said Nelson. “In one word, it would be surreal. It was really a night to remember.”

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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  • Gail Nelson (Mac's mom)
    December 04, 2013 - 18:07

    Thanks for your story Katie. Between this and the CBC news interview it's the best coverage. And I love the HUGE picture. I will get a few copies for the memory box and forward this on to others electronically.