Catfish, Carrie Underwood and the Stanley Cup Finals—the Strange Tale of One Nashville Predators Fan

It started with a Nashville Predators tradition.

A fan, throwing a catfish onto the ice—a practice begun around 2003, similar to the Red Wings' octopus-hurling, only less historic and maybe weirder.

It's possible, though, that no Predators fan has ever gone to the lengths of one Jacob Deveral Waddell to act it out.

With the Predators down 3-0 in the first game of their first-ever Stanley Cup Finals at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Waddell, 36, chucked a catfish onto the rink. He was promptly escorted from the game.

So this dude just got kicked out of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final for throwing a catfish on the ice.

— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) May 30, 2017

Behind the dead fish, though, lies a story of heroism. One does not simply bring a catfish to a hockey game unopposed—in an interview with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville Tuesday, Waddell explained how he had bought the fish in a market in Tennessee, sprayed it with Old Spice and put in in a cooler for the trip northeast, removed half of its spine before running it over with a truck so that it could be better hidden.

After all that, he hid it under a pair of compression shorts. He also paid $350 to watch a game he didn't get to see finish and now, according to, he has been charged by Pittsburgh police for possessing an "instrument of crime" (the catfish, in case you were wondering).

Here's the #catfish criminal complaint against @JacobDeveral #PENSvsPREDS #StanleyCupFinal

— Ben Schmitt (@bencschmitt) May 30, 2017

The episode provoked a delightfully silly statement from William Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh. "This has turned into a whale of a story. From my perch, I agree with Mayor Barry [Megan Barry, the mayor of Nashville] that we shouldn't be baited into interfering with this fish tale, but if the charges eventually make their way to a judge I hope the predatory catfish hurler who got the hook last night is simply sentenced to community service, perhaps cleaning fish at Wholey's [a famous Pittsburgh fish restaurant]."

And Waddell may have won in the end. Carrie Underwood gave him a shout-out on Twitter. Underwood is married to Predators center Mike Fisher, which given the tone of this story, seems an appropriate unintentional joke on which to end.

My hero... 💙💛💙💛

— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) May 30, 2017