I’m octpoi-ed out. Have had it with those Motor City slimers and the slime tosses of them. They wash up on our frozen shores whenever the Wings make a nice run, and sometimes before, and it’s an outdated tradition that is best retired.
They’re about the ugliest of sea creatures, and they’ve taken hold of postseason hockey — moreso this year than in any preceding. Thousands of tentacles, real and representative, are hanging from puckhead heads in the Midwest. I want our seas over-fished of them, their numbers imperiled, and the relevant government agency to enforce a ban on them in Detroit.
All we need is some pseudo study suggesting their numbers are diminishing, and our hyper-protective preservation instincts will halt the on-ice hurling. Better still, let’s have a single young girl suffer a bruise about her cheek from a mis-tossed cephalopod and the NHL will install Octo-detetctors at every portal.
Beginning next season, I’d like Wings’ fans to begin wearing hubcaps on their heads, as a demonstration of their renewed commitment to making a good domestic car again. They’re overdue on that endeavor by about 30 years. So less slimy, grotesque-looking fish and more reliable revving in MoTown. That would be a nice tradition that would never grow outdated.
I confess that back in the day, the octopus’ appearance was fresh and inventive. The beast first appeared on frozen pond in 1952, during the playoffs. In those Original Six days, a mere eight postseason wins were required to win Lord Stanley’s Cup, and the cephalopod was a nifty and novel representation of this. Today, though, we see eight legs hanging from embarrassing looking ballcaps in the first round.
Look at “Octopus Etiquette” in hockey as rendered at Wikipedia:
” . . . 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.”
A decade-plus back, the Florida Panthers adopted a locker room rat as a sort of rally rat. The story goes that on opening night in ’95-’96, a long-tailed critter scurried across the ‘Cats’ locker room, and Scott Mellanby actually one-timed the intruder against a wall, to its death. He went on to score two goals that night, and a tradition was born. Cats’ fans got into the act during the team’s unlikely run to the Stanley Cup Finals, hurling plastic rats onto the ice after home team goals throughout the postseason.
At one point during the ’96 postseason, Sunrise staff had to sweep up more than 2,000 rubber rats off the ice. (Would that they were dispensed upon Verizon Center’s sheet for Game 7 last month, thereby improving it.)
It was novel and mildly amusing for about three weeks. And to their credit, perhaps because it was enforced with vigor, Panthers’ fans halted the hijinx. It also helped that virtually immediately after that postseason the ‘Cats perpetually fell out of postseason contention.
But this octopus gig, it’s got a staying power, and it’s beyond well worn now — to say nothing of its outdatedness and inaccuracy. Wings’ fans need a representative of 16 significant moments. Like an Elizabeth Taylor wedding invitation.
As OrderedChaos pointed out, “Did you notice that someone threw an octopus on the ice when the Wings scored their second goal to tie it at 2-2 in game 5? Talk about premature octopulation.” This practice is so Vanilla Ice now.
Euthanizing the octopus will be no easy endeavor, as ridding the ice of the literal eight-leggers means killing off the figurative one — Al the Octopus. But we euthanized the San Diego Chicken, and he was a heck of a lot more popular.