Delanie Walker is a star tight end for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League and hasn't been shy about his rooting interest in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Walker is an avid fan of the Nashville Predators and will be cheering them on when they visit the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round series at SAP Center on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports). The series is tied 3-3 and the winner will advance to play the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Final.
"I'll probably go to one of these local bars and watch the game, be around the fans," Walker told NHL.com. "It's better when you're around the fans"
"I'm excited for this game," Walker said. "Everyone out here is wearing their Predators jerseys. I'm going to have to wear mine for good luck because the last time I went [Game 6 against the Anaheim Ducks in the first round], I was the flag guy. I got to raise the towel and get the crowd hyped, and we won."
Nashville defeated Anaheim in seven games after trailing the series 3-2. The Predators are trying to repeat that against the Sharks.
"I was at Game 6 [against the Sharks] when they won in overtime," Walker said. "For the triple overtime game [against the Sharks in Game 4], I was in Las Vegas but I was watching it on my phone at dinner."
Walker, who has been with the Titans since 2013, started watching hockey when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. He spent seven seasons in the Bay Area before signing with the Titans.
"I didn't get into it that much when I was in San Jose," Walker said. "I'm more into the Predators than I was the Sharks. It's more exciting here especially in Nashville. The people tend to love hockey and they make it exciting. When I was with the San Francisco 49ers, I went to a few Sharks games but when I came to Nashville, I started going and it was a blast."
Walker is a staple at Bridgestone Arena.
"I've been to the regular season games and playoff games," he said. "I'm, always there. The fans see me all the time. I love the atmosphere and they're a great team so I just enjoy it."
Walker had 94 receptions for 1,088 yards and six touchdowns this past season, and was named to his first Pro Bowl. He said his favorite player is Nashville's captain, who has made five all-star teams.
"I think Shea Weber stands out to me, he kind of reminds me of myself."
If Nashville wins Thursday, it will advance to the conference final for the first time in franchise history and will be eight victories from winning the Stanley Cup.
"I hope they get that Stanley Cup parade here," Walker said. "I'm going to go nuts. I'd try to be in the parade for sure. ... I hope they get it done. That's going to be exciting."