Ottawa's 'Paul MacLone' has Sens' fans doing a double-take
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2013 2:06PM EST
The Ottawa hockey fan who rose to instant celebrity status when pictures of him seated behind Senators coach Paul MacLean had people doing a double-take, says the best part of his whirlwind experience was simply watching the game.
"Being at the game was the best part of it all, that's for sure. And them winning," Mike Watson told reporters in Ottawa Tuesday.
Watson's comments came the day after he found himself at the centre of attention as he sat in the stands to watch the Ottawa Senators' homeopener against the Florida Panthers.
Watson, with his eyeglasses, short hairdo and bushy moustache, bears a striking resemblance to the Sens' head coach -- a fact he says he's known since he got a close-cropped hair cut last year.
But his idea to play up the likeness only emerged in the hours before the puck dropped, when he decided to don a regulation suit jacket and tie for his time behind man behind the bench.
"With the season starting, we didn't have much time to figure out who was going and stuff like that," Watson said, explaining that the seats, which belong to his employer, are typically filled by clients.
But not this time.
"I had an opportunity to go, and I jumped right on it," he said. "I figured, yeah let's get a suit jacket, a shirt and tie and let's have fun."
Fans got in on the fun too, lighting up Twitter to the point where the Watson-MacLean combo vaulted into the site's trending topics, as fans debated and laughed about the existence of an apparent “Paul Maclone”.
When asked if he's on Twitter, Watson said simply: "apparently so," before clarifying that while his name and likeness may be making the rounds online, he doesn't participate in social media.
"I don't get any of that stuff whatsoever."
Typically, Watson said, he prefers watching the Sens in action from the comfort of his own home.
"Nice big TV, friends over, family. Especially the afternoon games. That's the best way to have it."
But he enjoyed the buzz of being there in person, noting that he was even asked, by a fan on his way out of the washroom, to remove his mask.
When asked to confirm reports he was kicked out of the game, Watson said he merely left the arena a few minutes early, "to beat the rush."
He hasn't been able to escape the attention since, however.
"It was crazy, I didn't think it would escalate this big, actually."
Nevertheless, Watson said it's unlikely he'll pull the prank again anytime soon, given the short season this year.
"We've got to get some customers there. That's No. 1."