Seriously. Where Are You Keeping Your Catfish?

Hockey is sport full of very strange traditions. There’s the whole drinking champagne out of a giant shiny cup, using the same jockstrap since juniors (I’m talking about you Sidney Crosby. You’re disgusting) and not using a razor once the playoffs begin. And then we have the incredibly strange playoff tradition of throwing sea-life onto the ice rink after your particular team scores.


Visit Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Michigan around the beginning of April. Wait until the Red Wings score a goal and the strangest thing will happen. An octopus will fly out of the crowd onto the ice. Then take a trip south to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. When the Predators score, a big fat catfish will just miraculous fall on the ice. And in both places a poor ice girl will be given the task of picking up the slimy creature with her bare hands and retrieving it. The crowd gets really pumped up when these sea creatures grace us with their presence. I have nothing against throwing ocean dwelling creatures on ice. In fact, I get pretty pumped up about it myself, mostly because it means my Preds have scored, but it does lead me to beg the question:

Sea Creature Throwers, how in the heck are you storing these things?

A hockey game is at least an hour and forty minutes in length. You’ve got 3 twenty minute periods with the two twenty minute intermissions in between. But then you’ve got fights that happen. Then they have to stop the clock. And then people score and the clock stops. Pucks go into the crowd. Stop the clock. Basically a game is always going to be much longer than an hour and forty minutes. Meaning you people who wait until the 3rd period to throw your catfish are storing raw meat somewhere on your person for approximately an hour and half. And we’re not talking small catfish. We’re talking real big catfish. the kind you would mount on a wall. There’s no hiding these things.

Now see, I’m a girl. I have a purse. When I go to games the people at the door want to look in my purse to make sure I have no illegal paraphernalia. I’m 110% positive that if there was a catfish or an octopus in my purse, they would notice it. And I’m more than 110% positive that if I had an ice chest preserving my seafood, they would really notice.

Are you just carryng these things in, in plain sight? Because I’m pretty sure the PA Announcer always tells me to refrain from throwing things onto the ice. Do you just explain yourself to the security at the front door. “Oh this catifsh? No. I’m not going to throw it. I only eat seafood. This is my dinner.” They’re not falling for this. They know what you’re doing with that thing.

Obviously the most logical theory is that you have this thing strapped to you in some fashion. You saran wrap that sucker to your calf don’t you? If you wear baggy enough clothing you’re golden. No one’s going to know you’ve got a fish in your pants. But that leads me to another question.

Is it not uncomfortable having a 10 pound catfish strapped to your leg for 2 periods of hockey?

It has to be getting a little stinky at that point in the game. Do the people sitting next to you not object to your odor? I know the Predators and even the Red Wings score in the first period a lot. Why don’t you just throw it then? Why do you wait until the 3rd period? That’s a strange thing. Unless….is there only one person throwing all the catfish and octopi? Are you storing more than one fish on your body and throwing one for every goal? That is some serious dedication.

So I guess, in retrospect, I don’t think you’re crazy anymore. I admire your loyalty in supporting your teams goals with sea life. Obviously it’s not easy to keep those catfish and octopuses hidden from security. And alienating those around you with your smell, well that’s just a big commitment. I applaud you, you seafood thrower. As it turns out you are a better fan than me.

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7 comments on “Seriously. Where Are You Keeping Your Catfish?

  1. Cassie says:

    The action for the Stanley Cup has been fantastic this year. The traditions are even more insane – I mean if you throw a dead fish out onto a baseball field, who the heck would think that is awesome? But in hockey – heck yeah! My last plea in this comment, come on Flyers! 😉

  2. That is hilarious! I never knew that would happen. I don’t watch hockey that often, but it looks like I may need to! 🙂

    • yeldaba says:

      You absolutely should watch hockey! No better time than playoff time to start! You never know what you might see fly onto the ice. Shoot, in Florida they threw hundreds of rubber mice. This sport is full of insanity.

  3. Oregano says:

    This was a very funny post. I was laughing out loud a couple of times – it’s exactly how I think.

    You’ll be disappointed to hear that I am not a big ice hockey fan, despite the fact that there are 3 professional teams within an hour’s drive from my house (Devils, Rangers, and Islanders). Can you answer the question of why people throw “sea life” onto the ice? How did this tradition start? I didn’t see any links to additional information – is this too weird even for Wikipedia?

    • yeldaba says:

      well I’m glad you asked! It all started in Detroit. And since wikipedia explains it better than I can, here’s the origin of the octopus straight from their mouths:

      The origins of the activity go back to the 1952 playoffs, when a National Hockey League team played two best-of-seven series to capture the Stanley Cup. The octopus, having eight arms, symbolized the number of playoff wins necessary for the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup. The practice started April 15, 1952 when Pete and Jerry Cusimano, brothers and storeowners in Detroit’s Eastern Market, hurled an octopus into the rink of The Old Red Barn.[1] The team swept the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens en route to winning the championship, as well as winning two of the next three championships.

      As for the catfish thing in Nashville, it’s just a modified version of the octopus without as much symbolism behind it.

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