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A Hockey Tradition

Ron MacLean, Kevin Dean & Don Cherry talk hockey.
Ted Lindsay and Kevin Dean




Tradition of the OCTOPI

The Detroit Red Wings are on their way to the playoffs and on the road for the CUP, and hockey fever has hit the Metro-Detroit area. With the O-FISH-AL OCTOPI SUPPLY store, hockey fans on their way to the games can rest assured that they can find all the OCTOPI necessary to take the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup Championship.  The tradition of the OCTOPI began in 1952 when the Red Wings were playing Montreal in the second series playoffs and a Wing fan tossed an octopus onto the ice at Olympia Stadium.  The symbolism of the octopus in hockey is the eight tentacles.  The Wings were on a streak to win the Stanley Cup in eight straight games (and they succeeded).

On playoff game day, the sales of these tasty treats from the sea greatly increases from our daily average of 3 per day to 25.  During past Cup Finals we were exceeding over 100 OCTOPI a day.  Somehow we have the feeling that they were not all being prepared for evening supper!

On that first day of the playoffs we will have a fishtastic display for our customers featuring a GIANT octopus that will truly inspire them to cheer the Red Wings on as they skate toward the Cup. For over 60 years Superior Fish has been supplying consumers as well as the finest Metro-Detroit dining establishments, clubs and culinary schools.  We are known as "The House of Quality" but during the playoff season we are called "The House of Octopi"


The Proper Etiquette For Throwing an OCTOPUs


The following are guidelines for the proper decorum if one chooses to propel a CEPHALOPOD.

1. BOIL THE OCTOPUS:  Boiling the OCTOPUS for a half hour will remove any natural moisture (slime) and will not leave any excessive residue that may inhibit the game.

2. WHEN TO THROW:   The APPROPRIATE time to hurl your Octopi is ONLY immediately after a Red Wing goal.  No other time is sanctioned by or recommended by our board of governors.  If one does feel the need to throw it during our national anthem we must demand that it be done only AFTER its completion.

3. PLACEMENT:   After meeting the criteria as mentioned in guideline numbers 1 and 2, you must throw your Octopus only in a direction AWAY from any players, officials and personnel.  You must be confident that you can easily and safely make it to your desired target area.  If you have any doubt in your ability, PLEASE refrain from propelling your Octopi.

I, the undersigned, hereby acknowledge that I have read and will adhere to all the guidelines as written.  Failure to do so will be dealt with to the full measure that this board can call upon.

SIGNED  X____________________________

Al Sobotka in training at Superior Fish.

Free Press cartoonist Mike Thompson tests Bettman's octopus edict

April 26, 2008

Commissioner Gary Bettman recently announced that he would fine Red Wings Zamboni driver Al Sobotka $10,000 if Sobotka twirls over his head the octopi that fans toss onto the ice at Joe Louis Arena. The reason given for the potential fine is that "matter flies off the octopus and gets on the ice when he does it.

Free Press cartoonist Mike Thompson decided to take this "matter" matter into his own hands this week on his blog (freep.com/mikethompson). Thompson bought a frozen octopus at Superior Fish Market in Royal Oak, boiled it for half an hour, hung a white shower curtain on the door of his garage, and then twirled the octopus over his head to see if any matter would get on the shower curtain. (He also ate the octopus afterward. No live octopi were harmed in the test.)

Thompson reports: "No matter how hard or fast I twirled the octopus, I couldn't get any matter to fly off the darn thing. ...

"As the perfectly clean post-test shower curtain proves, the only matter the NHL needs to be concerned about is the gray matter between Bettman's ears."

Thompson plans to perform a second test using a twirled, raw octopus. Check out the results on his blog prior to today's face-off.

Octopus Twirling Test Part Two: The "Raw" Data

Why, oh, why couldn’t Pete Cusimano have gone into the meat business?
That was the question I asked myself earlier today as I headed off to the Superior Fish Market in
Royal Oak
to buy another octopus for part two of the great octopus-twirling test.

Had fish shop co-owner Cusimano, the man credited with starting the octopus tossing tradition back in 1952, sold products that moo instead of products that squirt black ink, I might be enjoying a nice sirloin steak for dinner tonight. Instead, I’ll be dining on octopus…again.

Why? Because one reader posted after my initial octopus twirling test - in which I used a boiled octopus - and issued the following challenge: “I am concerned that some well-intended fans may not be boiling their octopi before throwing them on the ice. Can you give us some "raw" data?”

Well, never one to shirk from a challenge of the cephalopod variety, I decided to repeat my octo-twirling test, this time using a raw octopus instead of a boiled one.

For those of you who are just joining us, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said that Red Wings Zamboni guy Al Sobotka will be fined $10,000 if he twirls over his head the octopi that fans toss onto the ice during hockey games at the Joe Louis Arena. The reason, according to NHL spokesman Frank Brown as reported in the Free Press, “matter flies off the octopus and gets on the ice when he does it.”

My boiled octopus-twirling test completely refuted this claim. So how would a raw octopus fare when twirled before a pristine shower curtain?

After several minutes…success! As you can see from this photo, if Red Wings Zamboni guy Al Sobotka were to stand on the ice twirling the octopus furiously for several minutes, he would indeed validate the league’s concern. But then again, if you twirl most things furiously for several minutes, chunks are bound to fly off – I know I’d certainly be emitting chunks, if you get my meaning. And remember, Sobotka’s twirling episodes rarely last more than a few seconds.

I’d say these tests should prompt the league to put to rest the “matter” matter and allow the great twirling tradition to continue. I mean, really, what were they thinking? In my book, this is a case of matter over mind.
Although I’ve been thinking. After a hat trick, fans traditionally toss their hats onto the ice. If you saw some of the
fans at game one, you’d know that those hats might not always come from the cleanest of heads. So the question is: When rink employees pick up said hats, does any matter fall off them onto the ice, creating a potential hazard for players?

Wait, let’s not give NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman any ideas