Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Octopus

I like octopus (or is it octopi? Or maybe it's octopuses?).

Actually, I don't really like all octopuses, I like one specific octopus named Al.  Al is the official playoff mascot of the Detroit Red Wings.
Al the Octopus!

The Detroit Red Wings
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 and Jerry Cusimano - storeowner's 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 found 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 Saturday, the Wings are up 2-0 in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Let's go Red Wings!


  1. thanks for posting this little known fact that needs to be told. still cracks me up that they throw them on the ice. love it! go red wings =)
    happy o day!

  2. Never knew this!!! The cartoon version of this creature is always so much cuter than the real thing!

  3. Not a sports fan, but gotta love this. Found you on the a-z challenge. Nice to "meet" you.

  4. My most favourite Octopus is Ursula from The Little Mermaid.
    I watched it a million times with my daughter and I always loved how she burst out of the wedding dress, when she was in disguise as Ariel, and all her tentacles flopped on the ship - it was great!

    Fun post, Jenny!

    Drop by my site and pick up a little treat I have for you.


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