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'Nana' Makes Trip West to Watch Grandson Coyle

Christmas gift allows 88-year-old Mary Kelly first chance to see Wild play in Minnesota

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Webisode: Nana Kelly

Becoming Wild Webisode: Nana Kelly

Becoming Wild presented by Toyota - Webisode featuring Nana Kelly, Charlie Coyle's grandmother who saw her first game at Xcel Energy Center

  • 03:08 •

ST. PAUL -- Mary Kelly doesn't miss many Wild games. In fact, she often builds her schedule around them.

But for the first time in her life, Kelly -- the grandmother of Wild forward Charlie Coyle -- was able to travel to the Twin Cities recently to see a game in person for the first time. 

A loyal follower of the Wild from the Boston area, "Nana" has seen Coyle and the Wild play every time the East Weymouth, Massachusetts native has returned home to played at TD Garden. At Christmas, Nana was gifted a hockey road trip by Coyle's mom, Theresa, and two of his aunts, for last Saturday's game against Nashville and Tuesday's game against Chicago.

"They gave it to me with a little case and a scene of Minnesota on it," Nana said. 

Nana is a woman who went skydiving after her 80th birthday. When Coyle returns to Boston the one time per season the Wild plays there, she is one of hundreds of Coyle followers who have been known to make the journey downtown to catch the game.

The trek is usually made in the back of a rented-out school bus, herding friends and family to the arena like kids to a school. 

Video: NSH@MIN: Coyle's Grandma Takes in a Game in Minnesota

While there are dozens of activities and sports for grandkids for her to worry about, little gets in the way of Nana sitting down in front of the television to watch Charlie play his Wild games.

"She's the biggest Wild fan," Coyle said with a huge grin on his face. "It's nice to get her out here, see the Xcel Energy Center, see the crowd in the State of Hockey. She's pretty happy to be here, and I'm pretty happy to have her."

More than the press box tour and checking out the arena where her grand son plays, Nana said she was most looking forward to walking into the rink with Wild fans, many of whom bear shirts and jerseys adorning the Coyle name. 

"She sees everything on TV, but for her to be here and see it up close, that's pretty special," Coyle said. 

During Tuesday's Blackhawks contest, Nana was honored on the Xcel Energy Center video board during the first period for attending her first Wild game. In front of the largest crowd of the season, Nana raised her hand to wave, then placed it over her heart. The moment had gotten to her, as memories of her weekend in St. Paul came to get at once.

"It was very nerve-wracking. I was crying," Nana said. "I know I was just supposed to put my hand up [and wave], but I had to put it on my heart because that's how I felt."

Her immense pride she has in Coyle and the Wild was on display from the get-go, as she met mascot Nordy and spoke on television with Kevin Gorg of FOX Sports North during Saturday's game.

Like Coyle before a game, she handled it like a seasoned vet.

"I think Charlie is used to it though," Nana said. "But he's wonderful. He plays his heart out for the team and for the Wild. That's the main thing, the main thing in life, is to do the best you can." 

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