NHL player Michael Grabner stayed with a host family in Washington during his WHL days. He paid them back by sending them to the Super Bowl this year.
When Michael Grabner left his native Austria at age 17 to join the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, he lived with Rachael McCann and her husband Rob. So when Rachael’s favorite team made it to the Super Bowl, Grabner knew the perfect way to repay her and her husband for their generosity. McCann told The Spokesman-Review all about it.
When McCann was growing up in Walla Walla, Wash., she started rooting for the team her brothers’ most hated team and has stuck with Denver ever since, even though it made things awkward when the Seahawks demolished the Broncos in the Super Bowl a few years back.
Grabner lived with the McCanns for three years and still stays in touch, visiting the family every off-season and occasionally hosting their 10-year-old son at his house in New York. He and his wife called two Fridays ago to break the news about the Super Bowl.
“My husband told me that Heather and Michael were going to FaceTime me,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, they are pregnant. They are telling me something big.’
“Then they told me they got tickets for the Super Bowl for myself and Rob. (Grabner) was so cute. He was really excited about giving this to me.”
Grabner also paid for their flights to San Francisco. McCann’s husband wants to pay back some of the money Grabner spent but Grabner said he doesn’t want them to know how much he spent.
- Dan Gartland