PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Tennessee man is calling himself a “dumb redneck with a bad idea” after police filed charges against him for throwing a catfish onto the rink in Pittsburgh during the opening of the Stanley Cup Final.
Police say 36-year-old Jacob Waddell threw the dead fish over the glass surrounding the rink on Monday night during the Nashville Predators-Pittsburgh Penguins game.
He was ejected and charged with disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime — in this case, the fish — and disrupting meetings or processions.
Waddell, of Nolensville, told Nashville radio station WGFX-FM that he came up with the idea ahead of a trip to see relatives in Ohio.
He said that “like an ignorant redneck, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to throw a catfish on the ice at this game?’”
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry released a statement asking that “any charges for throwing a catfish on to the ice would be quickly dismissed.”
Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto suggested in a statement that Waddell perform community service as punishment — “perhaps cleaning fish at Wholey’s,” a prominent fish market in the city.
The Penguins won the game 5-3. Game 2 is Wednesday.
Hockey has a long tradition of objects being thrown on the ice, usually in affection like when fans toss hats to mark hat tricks. There are odd offerings, too, including the time-honored tradition of Detroit Red Wings fans throwing octopi during the playoffs.