The Predators were playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Arena when Jacob Waddell hurled a catfish carcass onto the ice mid-play. According to CBS affiliate KDKA, the clock was stopped for the second period interruption so the fish could be removed.
Security quickly apprehended the fish flinger and escorted him out of the arena. Waddell has been charged with disorderly conduct, disrupting a meeting, and possessing instruments of a crime.
It wasn’t easy for Waddell to get the catfish into the arena.
He brought the fish all the way from Nashville. Then vacuum sealed the fish and put it inside his compression shorts. A fish market in Pittsburgh had previously said they would not sell catfish to people with a Tennessee ID so buying the fish in Pittsburgh was not an option.
Throwing catfish onto the ice is not abnormal for Predators fans. In a bizarre tradition, dating back to 2003, a bold fan decided to throw a catfish in the middle of a game.
It is believed the tradition stems from when Detroit Red Wings fans. The Red Wings’ custom began in 1952 when two brothers flung an octopus onto the ice during a playoff game as a good luck charm. And it worked. The team won the Stanley Cup that year.
So naturally, Predators fans thought throwing catfish on the ice would bring their team some luck.
While Waddell’s interruption got him charged, the catfish seems to have worked its magic here slightly. The Penguins did not score a single shot the entire second period.
Nashville-native Carrie Underwood even called him a hero.