Anyone casually tuning into the Stanley Cup Final in recent days might have been caught a bit off guard by a strange tradition held by fans of the Nashville Predators — throwing catfish on the ice.
The tradition supposedly began as an idea brought to Nashville by way of Detroit transplants that came to Tennessee following jobs in the auto industry. These workers and former Red Wings fans made up an early part of the Predators fanbase, and since the Detroit Red Wings would throw an octopus on to the ice for luck, newly dedicated Preds supporters came up with the idea to put an undeniably Nashvillian spin on the tradition.
And thus, throwing catfish on the ice was born.
Predators supporters have already made news this Stanley Cup Final for their commitment to the tradition — despite Game 1 being in Pittsburgh, a dedicated fan and self-described “dumb redneck” was able to sneak a catfish onto the ice in enemy territory to start the series.
While that feat was impressive, at Game 4 of the Final back in Nashville, Preds fans came through with their most extravagant catfish toss to date.
What you see there is a catfish wearing a bedazzled, sparkling blue hat and eating a toy penguin. The catfish is also wrapped in what I am presuming is the rally towels or shirts the Predators were giving away at the stadium that day, but that is far less impressive and important as the aforementioned hat and toy penguin.
If you’ve been watching Nashville throughout the playoffs, you’ve probably noticed how locked in their fanbase is right now. They are loud, and ready to shame opposing goaltenders and throw decorated catfish onto the ice when called upon.
With the series tied 2-2, Game 5 takes the teams back to Pittsburgh on Thursday night, but Game 6 will be back in Nashville, where we’ll undoubtedly see more catfish take the ice.
It will be difficult to top the hat-wearing, penguin-eating catfish that blessed us with its presence in Game 4, but if anyone is capable of pulling it off, it’s Predators fans.