it started with a local rock band and their managers in the fall of 2003. i sat down with scott knabe this week for a quick five minutes, five questions to hear the story.
1) why the catfish?
i co-managed my brother matt’s band, ligion, with bob wolf, owner of wolfy’s bar on broadway at the time. bob’s best friend was the owner of the team then, so we learned the game through him. in 2003, we talked about starting a tradition. at that time, there were painted catfish sculptures on the corners throughout town as part of an art installation. bob suggested we use that as inspiration and start throwing catfish on the ice like they do in detroit with the octopus. a preds exec gave us two sets of tickets to each game. one set within seven rows of the glass then another 20 rows up. we would wrap up the catfish and put them down our pants. as soon as we would score we’d take them out and throw them on the ice as quickly as possible. then we’d run up the aisle to the bathroom, clean up and go to the other seats.
2) how did you guys get it in there?
we would put them in our pants. this was before skinny jeans so much easier to disguise.
3) when was this?
the first catfish recorded to be thrown on the ice was by the band’s guitar player seth warrum and band friend lisa reese. the game was october 30, 2003, a win against the red wings. lisa actually got thrown out of the game that night.
4) in an unrelated topic, isn’t it crazy that mtv’s show catfish lasted five seasons, longer than classics like gilligan’s island and star trek?
crazy! people love catfish! looking back, the catfish has been a nashville staple for 15 years, with t-shirts, pins, the works. quite a bit longer than the infamous “3 hour tour.”
5) touchè. okay, last question, was it just the one toss or have there been others over the years?
we did it for about a year and half. each game, the ligion band guys would rotate on who would throw the catfish. if we were on the road, we would have friends volunteer to fill in for us.
we had an incident where the ice girl accidentally sliced one in half with her skate. A bloody mess that caused a delay in the game. the preds exec thought we should probably stop doing it because we didn’t want to cause a penalty for the team. about 5 years later, someone else threw a catfish out on the ice and i was a proud poppa!