Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena, a Very Important Thing happened. The Nashville Predators arranged a meet-and-greet between Ryan Ellis and Ryan Ellis.
Yes, you read that right.
“Meeting ‘the other’ Ryan Ellis was a pretty cool experience,” Ryan Ellis said about his new friend Ryan Ellis. “I remember watching him in the World Junior Championships a few years back and hoping the Capitals, my favorite team, would draft him. He’s obviously a very-solid defensemen on a strong Predators team so it’s no wonder he stole the number one Ryan Ellis spot on Wikipedia.”
"Hi, I'm Ryan Ellis"
"Hi, I'm Ryan Ellis"
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) December 28, 2016
Over the last few years, NASCAR driver Ryan Ellis has become an unofficial player of sorts for the Predators. During games, he’s routinely watched his Twitter mentions fill up with congratulatory tweets after a big goal or a big fight authored by Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis. Hockey fans on social media were confusing the two. The Predators organization eventually caught on and arranged for the two professional athletes to meet each other before Nashville’s December 27 game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Ryan Ellis watching Ryan Ellis pic.twitter.com/6NgJPsBnWZ
— Konnor William Fulk (@KonnorWF) December 28, 2016
“A few weeks ago he got into a big brawl with the Lightning’s J.T. Brown and I woke up to a ton of angry tweets,” Ryan Ellis said.
“Searching ‘Ryan Ellis’ on Twitter on any given night can come up with some angry tweets from NHL fans around the world,” Ryan Ellis continued. “Obviously with my history in hockey, I think it’s pretty cool to have someone sharing my name in my other dream job. He was a really nice guy and was even interested in coming out to a race next year.”
Racing Ryan Ellis grew up in Ashburn, Virginia. He played hockey as a squirt for the Reston Raiders and later for the George Mason University club team. Nearly a year ago, Ellis made his Sprint Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway with his favorite hockey blog as a co-sponsor. This past October, RMNB readers raised nearly $9,000 so that the Caps fan could race at Dover Downs.
“The game was a lot of fun and it was so nice of the Nashville Predators organization to have me and my friends out for the night,” Ryan Ellis said. “They set the whole thing up and I even got hooked up with some Predators swag. I got other Ryan Ellis to sign it, and we realized we have pretty different autographs.”
The only downside of the game was a goal early in the second period. Ellis watched former Capitals draft pick Filip Forsberg ding a puck off the post and in.
“It was an incredible goal,” Ellis said. “Which felt both ironic and sad with me in attendance.”
We did it America!!!! pic.twitter.com/vAiqcpVlm8
— Coke (@NASCARCocaCola) December 28, 2016
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