ATLANTA — On the night the Patriots arrived in Atlanta, wide receiver Julian Edelman decided to do some exploring.
After making his way about six or seven blocks away from the team’s downtown hotel, little did he know that a stranger would take him under his wing for an unofficial 30-minute walking tour of the city.
“Literally, I was walking down,” Edelman recounted Thursday back at the hotel. “And there’s a dude, Nate, he came up. We saw each other at the gas station, and he just started walking with me and telling me everything about the area. It was like having a cool little guide.”
Edelman, who has not visited Atlanta outside of football games, said he enjoyed hanging out with “a local,” though he noted Nate was originally from Mississippi and has only lived in Georgia for a year. Upon revealing that information, he also chuckled — likely at the fact that he knew such information about a random person.
Together, the pair ventured to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. (Safety Devin McCourty and 10 other Patriots also visited on Tuesday.) There, they saw King’s boyhood home and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was baptized and eventually worked as a pastor. Edelman said it was “cool” to take in the history of the city and “get it from someone [he] completely didn’t know.”
As one of the more recognizable players on the Patriots, especially with the bushiness of his beard, Edelman agreed it was a bit refreshing to interact with someone who had no idea who he was.
“He’s a good dude,” he said. “It was kind of like a little friendship that just grew.”