Say it ain’t so!
The National Hockey League has banned Detroit fans from throwing octopus on the ice for the Stanley Cup Finals. Actually the octopus throwing ban has been in effect for the entire playoffs, but since 0 percent of Americans watch hockey, nobody noticed or cared. Until now.
One of the only cool things about hockey is its traditions. The Detroit Red Wings are in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. That’s a marquee matchup for the world’s most declining sport. But the world’s worst commissioner won’t tolerate success. NHL Moron-In-Chief, Gary Betman, has chosen to make a big deal about the octopus ban.
Fans have been throwing octopi on the ice in Detroit since 1952. Octopus throwing is such an ingrained part of a city that calls itself “Hockey Town” that the Red Wings actually endorse the policy. And not informally. Longtime arena operations manager, Al Sobotka, is usually the one leading the fans in cheers. He’s the guy who invented the “octopus twirl.”
Now Betman and the NHL have vowed to hit the team with a $10,000 fine if Sobotka or anyone else dares to twirl an octopus thrown onto the ice. According to Betman it’s safety first:
“Actually, there’s a very good reason for it…when you swing the octopus around-and I don’t know the exact term for it-but octopus ‘gunk’ gets on the ice and occassionally has gotten on the players-the goaltenders as it goes by. Occassionaly, when it freezes on the ice, it creates a potentially hazardous situation for the players. It’s not about interfering with a tradition; it’s about making sure nobody gets it in their eyes, like a goaltender nearby or that nobody blows out a knee getting caught on some frozen gunk.”
Gee, I wonder how the Red Wings have managed to go 56 years without suffering some type of senseless octopus tragedy.
HOW TO THROW AN OCTOPUS
Detroit fans even have an “Octopus Etiquette” which you can find on Wikipedia:
Beforehand, an octopus should be boiled for at least 20 minutes on high heat with a little lemon juice and white wine. This will mask the creature’s odor as well as reducing the amount of slime. A raw dead thrown octopus would result in a smelly ball that would stick to the ice upon impact and possibly leave an inky stain, while a well-boiled octopus will bounce and roll across the surface of the ice.
Experienced throwers grasp the octopus around the middle part of the tentacles with the head hanging down near the thrower’s knee and then swings the octopus with an overarm motion. Holding the octopus by the ends of its tentacles prior to the throw may result in the head of the octopus breaking off during the wind-up.
After successfully participating in this peculiar tradition, the octopus thrower is left with a tell-tale indicator: stinky hands. It is advisable to bring along a wet wipe and a slice of lemon to assist in removing the odor.