Throwing the octopus is easy. More difficult is concealing the eight-legged creature until the toss is at hand, a skill that requires determination, luck and the ability to walk normally with 4 pounds of slimy cephalopod stuffed down your pants.
When Detroit drops in on Nationwide Arena Tuesday night in an attempt to further frustrate the Blue Jackets some among the Red Wings fans in attendance undoubtedly will have attempted to enter while packing octopus.
Some might even succeed, continuing a Detroit tradition dating to 1952 of throwing octopi on the ice during Red Wings games.
“I just sell it. What they do with it is up to them,” said Frank Gonzalez, owner of Frank’s Fish & Seafood Market in Columbus.
What they do with it is the second hurdle. The common method is to sneak the octopus through the turnstiles by slipping it into your trousers, a technique that Gonzalez does not understand.
“I wouldn’t want something moving around down there when you’re moving around,” he said, smiling.
“They’ve been creative,” said Eric Granger, general manager of Nationwide Arena. “We’ve caught them Saran-wrapped to the body.”