Manitoba

Fur-coat clad dancing Winnipeg Jets fan video goes viral

A fur coat-wearing, popcorn-flinging Winnipeg Jets fan who bumped and boogied his way onto the big screen at a recent home game against the Florida Panthers has received a fan base of his own.
A Winnipeg Jets fan dances in a fur coat, flings popcorn and wins a competition shown on the jumbotron during a break in play against the Florida Panthers'during third period NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Trevor Hagan)

A fur coat-wearing, popcorn-flinging Winnipeg Jets fan who bumped and boogied his way onto the big screen at a recent home game against the Florida Panthers has received a fan base of his own.

Aaron Merke got decked out and attended Tuesday night’s game at the MTS Centre in hopes of winning the fan-versus-fan competition. The camera eventually gravitated toward Merke, who had his face painted like a jungle cat, which is when he busted out his best moves for the world to behold.

“I just do it for fun,” said Merke, a Winnipeg comedian and live-in caregiver. “There was a lady who asked, ‘why are you wearing cat make-up?’ and I said, ‘why are you wearing a Jets jersey?’ It’s just to have fun.”

The 10-second video of Merke went viral on various social media platforms. 

Merke said he was surprised at the nature of the attention he’s received. He said he thought he would be mocked at first, but instead people have been really entertained by his antics.

It would be funny enough as a one-off event, but Merke said it isn’t the first time he’s played dress up. He and his friends have a tradition of hitting up second-hand stores, donning their weird wears and going out into public places in character.

The tradition started as harmless fun between friends having a laugh around a fire pit, said Merke. But then things escalated, and he and friends found themselves going out to restaurants in white coats posing as record producers — and to Jets games.

He said they’ve also put on turtlenecks and blazers to shake-up the establishment from time to time.

The fact that this time things were caught on camera and went viral has pushed Merke to learn Twitter.

In the end, Merke won the fan-versus-fan competition and came away with a $50 Giant Tiger gift card – something he plans to spend on clothes for a client he takes care of in his job as a caregiver.

Forever the humble winner, Merke said it was his popcorn move that helped him demolish the competition.

Merke stopped by the CBC Manitoba offices Thursday afternoon. Hilarity ensued, and he challenged Mayor Brian Bowman and Ellen DeGeneres to do the #catfacedance or donate to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg or KidSport.

Bowman later posted on Twitter that he accepts the challenge. It remains to be seen if he will dance.

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