James Paxton was the unlikely landing spot for a bald eagle.
Any normal player might have freaked out, but Paxton, who fans call "Big Maple" thanks to his Canadian heritage and his 6-foot-4, 235 pound frame, stood relatively stalwart as the Eagle prepared for landing.
"It was coming right for me and I was like, 'Alright, the guy is over there". The raptor's handler immediately came running onto the field with his big leather arm sleeve and the bird finally cooperated and stopped going after Paxton. "I was just standing there trying not to panic". The Vikings lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game this winter, of course, before the Eagles came to Minneapolis two weeks later to win their first Super Bowl.
Paxton ducked but appeared unfazed, and another handler ran over to regain control of the eagle.More news: Atlantic Hurricane Season 2018: Predictions
In the commercial, he looks at the eggs much more fondly than he did the eagle that mistook him for an actual maple tree.
"I just have to be not standing alone in the field", Paxton said. "But then as I stood straight up, it fell back onto the ground".
"That's not the first time I've seen a bald eagle, but it was the first time I've had one try to land on me", Paxton said.
Maybe the Eagle will give him the good luck he needs to turn around his 11.00 ERA.
"The eagle knew I was Canadian, I don't know", he said.