why do they throw octopus on the ice in detroit

Where did Red Wings octopus tradition come from? I grew up in the Detroit area, now I live in Utah. I know that at Detroit Red Wings games we had a tradition in the playoffs of throwing an octopus on the ice. But I can t for the life of me remember why! - Tawnia
It s truly a sight to see for any Hockey fan: when the Red Wings win a playoff game, you might see an octopus make an appearance center ice. In fact, some fans even smuggle the creatures into the arena inside their coats! But what s with the odd tradition? The Motor City s proud tradition of saluting the Detroit Red Wings with slimy creatures of the deep dates back over half a century. The first octopus landed on the ice during the 1952 Stanley Cup run, courtesy of brothers Pete and Jerry Cusimano, who owned a fish market. If you know your cephalopods, you will know that an octopus has eight tentacles. In those days it took eight playoff wins to claim the Cup, hence the supposed symbolism of the gesture.


The Red Wings were perfect in the 52 playoffs, sweeping the semifinal and the final in straight games. The octopus has been a good luck charm ever since. By 1995, the team had adopted the tradition by introducing a mascot, Al the Octopus. Al is raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena before every home playoff game and used in team merchandising and promotion. The are in the for the first time in franchise history, which means a national audience is getting the chance to discover some of their traditions. WeБve gotten treated to one of those repeatedly since Game 1 against the Б catfish on the ice. Game 6 is on Sunday night, and. Now, you might be thinking, БWhat gives? ThereБs a lot of crazy stuff that happens on the ice during hockey games, but catfish? Why catfish? Б The catfish-throwing is actually a tradition for Predators fans that they brought to Pittsburgh for Game 1, much to the chagrin of.


ItБs something theyБve been doing in their home arena for over a decade. The first reported example of it happening came back in 2003, The Tennessean. Ever since, catfish have rained down on the ice in Nashville during big moments. There are few bigger than Stanley Cup Final games. The tradition takes inspiration from fans of the, who have been throwing octopuses on the ice in the Motor City since the 1950s. The Red WingsБ tradition, colloquially known as the, started in 1952 when a pair of brothers hurled an octopus on the ice during the teamБs playoff run. The Wings went on to sweep the and to win the, and fans have been doing it in support of them ever since. When the Predators started playing in 1998, they obviously didnБt have any history like the Red Wings.


Detroit was arguably the NHLБs premier franchise at the time, though, and with many people from the Midwest flocking to Nashville, it made the Wings a logical source of inspiration. So someone decided in 2003 to toss a catfish on the ice, presumably thinking of the Red Wings, and even though the Predators didnБt go on to win the Stanley Cup that year, a tradition was born. Ever since, fans have kept doing it Б even if it means tricking a local seafood seller and taping a gross, slimy 20-pound fish to your back in order to get past security. You might still get kicked out, though, at least in Pittsburgh: Does the tradition make a ton of sense? No, not really. But this is Nashville, and it doesnБt really care whether the tradition makes sense to you. ItБs all their own, they love it, and thatБs enough for them. Next time you see a catfish on the ice, now you know.

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