Saturday, May 24, 2008
We Don't Need Your Lousy Octopi
Pittsburgh market refuses to sell Wings fans octopi
BY BEN SCHMITT • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • MAY 23, 2008
There’s a Pittsburgh fish market with octopi for sale, just not for Detroiters.
Dan Wholey, owner of Wholey’s Fish Market in Pittsburgh’s warehouse section known as the Strip District, said he’ll decline the sale of octopus to anyone in Red Wings gear next week. He’ll also listen for Midwestern accents and maybe check identification
"I have the utmost respect for all the people of Detroit,” Wholey said today. “They are great citizens and great hockey fans, just like I am. But I’m a Penguins fan first and foremost and I want to see the Penguins win, period.”
The Red Wings/octopus tradition began in 1952 when a local fish merchant threw an octopus on the ice to symbolize the eight victories needed back then to win the Stanley Cup. The tradition has lived on and the octopus has even become a team mascot.
In a 1995 home playoff game, Red Wings faithful threw 36 octopi on the ice.
Wholey said he can’t bear the thought of an octopus thrown onto the ice of Mellon Arena.
“Anyone who comes in here with a Red Wings jersey, they’re allowed to buy anything in the store, just not the octopus,” he said.
(Rudee's Note: Superior Fish in Royal Oak will package your octopi for leak free transport to the Mellon Arena. Who needs Pittsburgh's nasty octopi when you can buy yours here?)