Steady server en­joy­ing her ‘15 min­utes of fame’

Kingston Whig-Standard - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE NOR­RIS

Kelsie Nor­man’s 15 min­utes of fame have lasted more than a week.

“I’m OK with it. It’s been lots of fun,” said the Kingston na­tive, who has be­come a bit of a celebrity since a week ago Tues­day when a TV cam­era caught the Ot­tawa server hold­ing onto a beer de­spite tak­ing a pretty good jolt from a cel­e­brat­ing Sen­a­tors fan.

Nor­man, work­ing a shift at Sens House Sports Bar & Grill on May 9 dur­ing Game 6 of the Ot­tawaNew York Rangers NHL play­off se­ries, was ap­proach­ing a ta­ble with a Mol­son Cana­dian tall boy beer can in her right hand when the Sens scored and fans jumped up in uni­son. One fel­low’s right arm flew up into Nor­man’s right hand. Un­fazed, she held onto the beer and placed it on the ta­ble with­out spilling a drop.

A Sport­snet cam­era hap­pened to be rolling at that ex­act mo­ment and the clip made its way onto Hockey

Night in Canada that same night and went vi­ral on the In­ter­net.

“It’s def­i­nitely been crazy on the so­cial me­dia side of things,” said Nor­man, 21, a Holy Cross Catholic Sec­ondary School grad who just fin­ished her third year at the Univer­sity of Ot­tawa, where she’s pur­su­ing a joint hon­ours de­gree in com­mu­ni­ca­tions and so­ci­ol­ogy.

“I’m not used to get­ting so many no­ti­fi­ca­tions on my phone. I’ve heard from fam­ily and friends, peo­ple say­ing, ‘Oh my God, we know her from Sens House.’”

Mol­son wasted no time jump­ing on the pub­lic­ity band­wagon, cre­at­ing a hash­tag #the­girl­whosavedthe­beer.

“It’s a spinoff on Dart Guy,” said Nor­man, re­fer­ring to the Toronto Maple Leafs fan who be­came a me­dia sen­sa­tion when TV cam­eras spot­ted him in the crowd at Game 2 of their first-round se­ries against the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals. “They want me to be the Sens’ ‘Dart Guy.’ I’ve seen a few tweets about The Bat­tle of On­tario: Dart Guy vs. The Girl Who Saved the Beer.”

The beer gi­ant showed its ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Nor­man by giv­ing her two seats in the Mol­son Cana­dian Fan Deck at the Sen­a­tors game Wed­nes­day night. She took her sis­ter, Madi­son, 23, a re­cent Queen’s Univer­sity grad — “my sis­ter and I are very close. We’re best friends,” Kelsie said — and Mol­son rented a limou­sine to trans­port the pair to the game. And there was more. The sis­ters were stand­ing in front of the arena be­fore the game when Kelsie no­ticed “they were wheel­ing this gi­ant thing, with a card­board box over it, and I thought, ‘What the heck can this be?’ Some­one from Mol­son said, ‘This is for you.’”

It was a large red Mol­son fridge adorned with a white maple leaf.

“It was a sur­prise for me,” said Nor­man, whose new ap­pli­ance is in the pos­ses­sion of the Sen­a­tors.

“They want me to let them know where it goes. I think I’ll have them ship it back to Kingston and have my par­ents store it for me. I’ve got a two-bed­room apart­ment in Ot­tawa. There’s no room for it.”

Nor­man, stand­ing next to the fridge, was in­ter­viewed by a Sen­a­tors re­porter and the 52-sec­ond clip is posted on

The Fan Deck was lo­cated next to the Hockey Night in Canada broad­cast booth that housed Ron Ma­cLean and Kingston na­tive Don Cherry.

“I could see Ron Ma­cLean from where I was sit­ting,” Nor­man said. “I tweeted him to say, ‘I’m at the game. Thanks for the shoutout last week.’ Dur­ing the first in­ter­mis­sion, I got a tweet from Hockey

Night in Canada pro­ducer Kathy [Brod­er­ick] to come visit dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod.”

Nor­man went to the set and talked with Ma­cLean and Cherry.

“Ron said, ‘Let’s do a seg­ment. Come back at the end of the pe­riod and we’ll talk.’”

Cherry, who owns a cot­tage on Wolfe Is­land, said to her, “How about the wa­ter lev­els in Kingston, eh?”

Af­ter the sec­ond pe­riod, the sis­ters re­turned to the set and were in­ter­viewed by Ma­cLean. “I was su­per starstruck,” said Nor­man, the mid­dle child of Rob and Laura’s three off­spring. “When we were kids and Don Cherry would come on Hockey Night in Canada, my dad would say, ‘Stop talk­ing. God is speak­ing.’ We weren’t al­lowed to talk dur­ing Coach’s Cor­ner. I was starstruck to be in his pres­ence.”

Nor­man, who works at Sens House one or two shifts a week dur­ing the school year and four or five shifts a week dur­ing the sum­mer months, sus­pected her “save” was caught on cam­era.

“While I was put­ting down the beer at the ta­ble, I thought the cam­era might have caught it,” she said. “I re­mem­ber say­ing to one of my co­work­ers, ‘Oh my God, I think the cam­era caught me al­most spilling that beer, but that won’t be on TV.’

“Af­ter we shut down around 12, 12:30 that night, I had a chance to check my phone and fam­ily and friends were mes­sag­ing me to say they saw me on Hockey Night in

Canada. [The cam­era] caught it and they played the clip dur­ing the game. Dur­ing the game, one of the ladies from Sport­snet said to me. ‘We need your name. We want to know who you are.’”

Be­fore Nor­man’s next shift on May 12 — the night of Game 1 of the Eastern Con­fer­ence fi­nal against Pitts­burgh — the bar’s DJ in­tro­duced her to the cus­tomers, who gave her a rous­ing round of ap­plause.

“It was fun,” Nor­man, who has worked at Sens House for two years, said. “I’m a lit­tle shy, I blushed a lit­tle. Peo­ple were great. They cheered. It makes you feel good.”

She ad­mits she’s en­joy­ing the spot­light.

“It’s my 15 min­utes of fame, I want to make the most of it. It was pure luck it hap­pened to me. I def­i­nitely want to max­i­mize all the op­por­tu­ni­ties that come with it.”

Her new­found fame, she said, also car­ries a bit of a bur­den.

“There’s a bit of pres­sure at work be­cause I can’t spill any beer at all,” said Nor­man, who hopes to get back to Kingston for a cou­ple of weeks this sum­mer. “I can’t ruin my rep­u­ta­tion by spilling it.

“I had a very close call [since then]. I was hold­ing a bunch of beers [pints] on a tray and peo­ple bumped into me. I set [the beers] down and car­ried on.”


Madi­son Nor­man, from left, Ron Ma­cLean, Kelsie Nor­man and Don Cherry are seen to­gether at Sco­tia­bank Place in Ot­tawa. The two young women from Kingston were in­ter­viewed by Ma­cLean on a Hockey Night in Canada broad­cast.

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