As we mentioned this morning, the Stanley Cup finals are now set with a rematch of last year’s Detroit-Pittsburgh finals. Detroit won last year, of course, because the Red Wings always freaking win. Apart from always winning, another galling quirk of the franchise is the fans’ propensity to throw octopi on the ice during playoffs. Y’know, for good luck.
For multiple reasons, including but not limited to pride and cleanup duty, opposing teams would prefer to keep Detroit’s ritual in Detroit, leading one Pittsburgh wholesale fish market, Wholey’s, to ban Detroit fans from purchasing octopi last year (see picture above). But one store didn’t, the Wings took the Cup, and - according to MONDESI’S HOUSE - a lesson was learned:
Proving once again that our city’s priorities are clearly in order, Benkovitz has since seen the light and will jump on the anti-Detroit bandwagon:
“They might bring a stinky squid in their car from Detroit, but not from my store here,” said Horatio Ruiz of Benkovitz Seafoods. “This is for us, and for the Pittsburgh fans only.”
An exhaustive study of “call my friend who knows everything about hockey” revealed that an octopus may or may not have made it onto the ice in the Iron City last year; we’re not sure. But even if none did, precautions must be proactive, not reactive; one octopus is too many, y’know.
The temptation in Pittsburgh is for Pens fans to throw something of their own onto the ice for good luck, though these seeds of ideas always grow into something sterile and boring once an organization like a sports franchise in the 21st century gets a hold of it. Stuffed penguins is probably the best they’ll do, and even then, they’ll probably end up being “special” toys available for $20 exclusively from the team’s shop.
And then, just like so many promotions in sports today, it wouldn’t be an organic tradition that has anything to do with the team’s history at all - just a bunch of people throwing their money away.