Wednesday, April 17, 2024

#AtoZChallenge - Octopus

 #AtoZChallenge 2024 letter O

Welcome to day 15 of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge!

My theme this year is thing that inspire and/or entertain me.  This post falls directly in the "entertain" category!

The Legend of the Detroit Red Wing's Octopus.

(the following pics were taken at Hockeyfest in 2009, which is why you see Joe Louis Arena instead of Little Caesars Arena)

(text below)

There are few traditions in sports that compare to those in the game of hockey.  One such tradition is the throwing of octopi onto the ice at Red Wings games.  Ever wonder how it started?

The octopus first made its appearance on April 15, 1952 during the Red Wings' Stanley Cup playoff run. 

Two Detroit brothers, Pete & Jerry Cusimano - storeowners in Detroit's Eastern Market - threw the eight-legged cephalopod on the ice at Olympia Stadium.  Each tentacle of the octopus was symbolic of a win in the playoffs.  Back then, the NHL boasted only six teams, and eight wins (two best-of-seven series) were needed to win the Stanley Cup.  The Red Wings swept the series that year, and the octopus has come to be the good luck charm ever since. 

The tradition carried over to Joe Louis Arena on opening night in 1979 when several made their way onto the ice. 

During the 1995 playoffs, Bob Dubisky and Larry Shotwell, co-workers at a meat and seafood retail company near Detroit, tossed a 38-pound octopus onto the ice during the national Anthem prior to game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.  The year after, the duo struck again with a 50-pounder in the Conference Finals.  Although the feat received no airtime on the nationally broadcast game, the octopus was proudly displayed on the hood of the Zamboni between periods. 

As of the time I'm writing this, the Wings are currently playing.  So the last time I can confirm an octopus hit the ice was... 2 days ago!  


  1. I take it these Octopi were dead already - a 50 pound octopus Jeez Louise!!!


  3. Maybe they were rubber octopi...


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