Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer 356d

Patriots' Danny Amendola and fan give Julian Edelman an emotional lift

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The combination of a compassionate New England Patriots fan and wide receiver Danny Amendola catching a 1-yard touchdown reception in Sunday’s game produced a feel-good moment.

Amendola spotted a “JE11” towel – which is the personal logo of teammate and close friend Julian Edelman, who is recovering from ACL surgery – hanging over the wall in front of the Optum Club behind the south end zone. So as part of his impromptu touchdown celebration, he grabbed the towel and held it in front of him as Fox’s television cameras focused on him.

The towel was brought to the game by Jan Oleson.

Both explain how it unfolded.

Amendola: “I usually just go and hand the ball to a fan, or dap up the fans, but I saw the towel hanging.”

Oleson: “My whole thought behind hanging the towel there was to honor Julian in his recovery, with the hope he might see it. Now, thanks to Danny, I don’t have to worry about that anymore."

Amendola: “I had just seen my boy [Edelman] on the couch a couple of nights before, just down and out. So I just figured I’d cheer him up.”

Oleson: “When he turned around and grabbed the towel, I was in shock, thinking, ‘What the heck is he doing?’ When he started holding it up for the cameras, it was a dream a fan does not dare to dream.”

Amendola: “He [Edelman] loved it. He sent me a couple of emojis. I think I’ll keep those between us.”

Oleson: “I’ll never forget it. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to do it. I still plan on hanging the towel there every home game until Julian returns, until after his first game back.”

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