A Nashville Predators fan who threw a dead catfish on the ice in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is facing criminal charges, the Pittsburgh Police Department said in a statement Tuesday.
Jacob Waddell, 36, from Nolensville, Tennessee, has been charged via summons with disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime and disrupting meetings and processions.
Waddell threw the catfish over the glass and onto the ice during the second period at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET and later was escorted from PPG Paints Arena.
In an interview Tuesday with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, Waddell described all that went into the catfish toss:
-- He paid $350 for a pair of upper-level tickets to the game, then bought "an entirely too big" catfish at a Tennessee market.
-- He sprayed it down with Old Spice cologne and threw it into a cooler for the trip to Pittsburgh.
-- On Monday night, before Game 1, he filleted the fish at a relative's house, cut out half its spine, and then ran it over with his truck in an attempt to better conceal it.
-- He stashed the fish over his underwear, then under a pair of compression shorts and baggy shorts.
-- He entered the arena, then staked out a lower-bowel section where he could heave the catfish over the glass. Sure enough, during a stoppage of play, Waddell made the move.
Recalling how it unfolded, Waddell told 104.5 The Zone: "I thought, 'Man, wouldn't it be awesome to get to go to that game?' And then, like an ignorant redneck, I thought 'Wouldn't it be awesome to throw a catfish on the ice at this game?'"
Waddell says he's already received calls from Nashville lawyers willing to help him fight the charges.
"I'm pretty sure we'll win that battle," he told the radio station. "I'm just stubborn enough, as you can probably tell by strapping a catfish to my crotch, to go up there and fight it."
After Nashville mayor Megan Barry said it wouldn't be appropriate to interfere in the situation but she hoped charges would be dismissed, Pittsburgh mayor William Peduto issued a humorous statement of his own.
"This has turned into a whale of a story," he said. "From my perch, I agree with Mayor Barry 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."
Wholey's is a well-known fish market in Pittsburgh.
Country music singer Carrie Underwood, the wife of Predators captain Mike Fisher, tweeted her approval of the stunt.
My hero... 💙💛💙💛 https://t.co/2sW9P7mrOg— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) May 30, 2017
Nashville fans have offered to help Waddell, according to the Tennessean, including city council members, one of whom is asking the council to pardon Waddell. The catfish-throwing tradition among Predators fans dates to the 2003 playoffs.
Predators defenseman P.K. Subban took a lighthearted approach to the incident when asked about it Tuesday.
"I hope someone saved the catfish because I've never had it before. Maybe I'll have it for dinner tonight," he told reporters.
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Predators 5-3 in Game 1 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.