Tennessee Man Charged With Throwing Catfish On Ice In Stanley Cup Game

Clarias_batrachusGame 1 of the Stanley Cup was interrupted by a bizarre act of a fan throwing  large catfish on to the ice.  Jacob Waddell, 36, is charged in the incident though one of the charges may surprise you.

It is a truly weird tradition in Nashville to throw a catfish on the ice. The tradition has only been around since 2003.

Waddell is a Nashville Predators fan and admitted to the responsibility for the disgusting act:


Waddell reportedly brought in the catfish from Tennessee in a vacuum sealed bag.  He said that he drove over the catfish with his truck to flatten it out.  He then put the fish into his compression shorts and then took it out in a men’s room at PPG Paints Arena. He then waited under the second period before throwing it over the glass around the rink.  That is a truly bizarre level of premeditation and work to achieve an equally bizarre act.

Waddell was removed and then criminally charged.  Two charges make abundant sense:  disorderly conduct and disrupting a meeting.  However he was also charged with possession of an instrument of crime.

The final charge seems blatant count proliferation where Waddell faces multiple charges for the same basic conduct.  Here is the provision:

     § 907.  Possessing instruments of crime.
        (a)  Criminal instruments generally.--A person commits a
     misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses any instrument
     of crime with intent to employ it criminally.
        . . . 
        (d)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
     words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
 . . . 
        "Instrument of crime."  Any of the following:
            (1)  Anything specially made or specially adapted for
        criminal use.
            (2)  Anything used for criminal purposes and possessed by
        the actor under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for
        lawful uses it may have.

That open-ended crime would fit a vast array of crimes, including holding a catfish to throw on to the ice in a hockey game.

To make matters worse, Waddell decided to go on Twitter after his arrest to brag about his act.  Waddell told reporters that he is just a “dumb redneck with a bad idea.” Various people in Nashville are coming to his aid.  Frankly, they could do with a new tradition, but Pennsylvania could do with greater definition in their criminal code.


25 thoughts on “Tennessee Man Charged With Throwing Catfish On Ice In Stanley Cup Game”

  1. Al O’Heem, LOL! Catfish was one of the greatest. And. an update. Charges were dropped against the Catfish Hurler.

  2. Hat makers love the hat trick tradition, I’ve been to a lotta hockey games but never seen a hat trick. I’ve been to over 1K MLB games and never seen a no-hitter. The quite average Jim Colborn threw a no no for the Royals in 1977. We were going to go to the game but decided to stay home and listen to it. So, we listened to the no no.

    While and average hurler, Colborn was an interesting guy. He had a bachelors in sociology from Whittier College and a masters from a university in Scotland.

    1. CV Brown, The day the Flyers won their first Stanley Cup was the day I graduated from college in PA. The game was played during the ceremony w/ many graduates listening w/ transistor radios[remember them] and ear pieces.

  3. Well, at least this guy didn’t pour beer down the catfish’s throat, like that alligator story from yesterday.

    1. How do you know the catfish wasn’t drunk? Did they give a sobriety test to the catfish?

  4. If a catfish is an “instrument of crime,” what about the sticks that the hockey players use to beat each other with?

  5. A person commits misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses any instrument of crime with intent to employ it criminally.

    It is ironic that this man likely paid very good money to watch a sport where the contestants routinely violate this charge and they get how many minutes in the penalty box? This is how traditions grow legs.

  6. The only allowable stuff that should be thrown on the ice in the NHL is the squid/octopus on the rink in Detroit. It was the first, back in the Gordie Howe days. As long as no one tosses hot coins on the ice, Detroit squids should be allowed, in Detroit only, and all the rest should be banned from the rinks for being pathetic wannabes.

    1. issac – I think ravenous wolves should be set loose in all NHL arenas to add some interest to the game. Say 10 wolves a period, something to keep the players on edge.

      1. Hockey, as with some other sports but in particular Hockey, can be tied directly to the ‘Games’ in Ancient Rome. People come for action, blood, and most of all to scream their guts out. I’ll take a Hockey game over Tennis or Golf any day of the week.

        1. issac – accidents are the reason NASCAR is the most popular sport in America. 🙂

    2. I guess our Canadian doesn’t abide the hat trick tradition. At least Canadian teams made the playoffs this year. Hell, Ottawa even made the semis.

  7. Why does Nashville have a hockey team? No wonder they are throwing catfish. And this is an odd article from a man who put goats in his yard to break a baseball curse. Really, JT, grow up.

    1. Paul, we have a hockey team in Charleston! =) The Stingrays. I went to a game once and it was packed – they were playing Richmond. There were some very loud profane women sitting behind me – knew all the player’s names and cursed them roundly. I turned around expecting to see some tatted up rednecks – to my astonishment it was two older ladies wearing church dresses. Hockey must bring out some people’s savage nature =)

  8. The National Hockey League has a long history of throwing seafood and indeed, non perishables as well, i.e., hats, on the ice. The folks in Nashville don’t get the tradition. That’s what happens when you transplant a cold weather sport to the American South.

  9. The greatest punishment, it fits the crime, is to put him on probation and as a condition thereof, bar him from attending any sporting event in any state in the union and any state in the old confederacy. Went in dumb, come out dumb too. Hustlin round Atlanta in his alligator shoes. He’s keepin the catfish down.

    1. “Waddell reportedly brought in the catfish from Tennessee in a vacuum sealed bag. ”

      Apparently the poor catfish was deceased long before the game started.

      As offensive as the act was, it is hard to argue that throwing the cadaver was cruel to the fish – just to our sensibilities.

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