New Mexico United player’s interaction with woman on plane goes viral

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A New Mexico United player’s wholesome interaction with a stranger on a flight home three days ago is spreading joy on the internet.

“I thought it was very cool that it was kind of documented or someone was kind of listening,”  Defender Kyle Colonna told KOB 4.

In this case, that someone who was listening was Randy Scott, an ESPN Sports Center Anchor with more than 27,000 followers on Twitter. He snapped a candid photo of the two and posted it online:

The post quickly gained traction, garnering more than 452,000 views. But Colonna said the story actually began a few days earlier, on another flight from Albuquerque to Denver.

“I had the pleasure of sitting next to Janice, is her name,” he said. “Initially, she talked about the reason she was going to Denver was to see her granddaughter’s graduation.”

Something Colonna remembered and immediately asked Janice Jacobs about when they happened to meet again on their flight back home.

“I saw Janice and, you know, we both kind of shared smiles,” he said. “I was really excited to see her.”

So, he swapped seats with one of his teammates, who was assigned to sit next to her, and the pair picked up right where they left off.

“We got to catching up regarding how the graduation went and how it was seeing her, her son, her granddaughter, and all of those kinds of things,” Colonna explained. “She had me take down her number. She’s someone that I could always kind of go to if I want a home cooked meal in a place that I’m not really from.”

We asked Colonna if he had reached out to Jacobs since they exchanged contact information. He said he had not but allowed us to record him while he made that first phone call.

Colonna filled Jacobs in on the now popular post and its traction online, then she shared her perspective on the interaction.

“He helped me with my carry on, and my husband’s carry on,” she said. “He’s such a nice young man. I think it’s important that people know there are still really nice people out there willing to help us seniors.”

“Thank you very much, Janice,” Colonna replied. “I really appreciate that.”

Jacobs also said she would consider attending a United game at some point in the future, to cheer Colonna on. Before that happens, they will likely meet up for dinner and share family recipes with one another.