‘Catfishing’ may take on a whole other meaning after this year’s Stanley Cup finals between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Predators fan Jacob Waddell, the fan who threw a dead catfish onto the ice during the second period of game one of the Stanley Cup finals, was initially charged with disorderly conduct, disrupting a meeting, and possessing instruments of a crime. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala has decided not to pursue a conviction.

“Having reviewed the affidavit involving Mr. Waddell as well as the television coverage of the incident, District Attorney Zappala has made the determination that the actions of Mr. Waddell do not rise to the level of criminal charges,” Mike Manko, a spokesman for Zappala told WTAE-TV Pittsburgh. “As such, the three charges filed against Mr. Waddell will be withdrawn in a timely manner.”

Those charges, when relevant, read like pure comedy.


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“The actor possessed one or more instruments of crime, namely, dead catfish with intent to employ it or them criminally,” the original Pittsburgh police report read.


Had Waddell been convicted of all charges, he could have faced up to six years in prison.

Waddell was hardly the first fan to toss a dead catfish onto the ice during a hockey game, as the odd practice has become tradition in Nashville.

Waddell brought the the catfish from Tennessee, vacuum sealed it, sprayed it with Old Spice, and stuffed it inside his compression shorts in order to get it into PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. But he also had to make it slightly smaller.

“The head was too damn big,” Waddell told the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. “No matter how much I ran it over with my truck, the head was too big.”

The cunning fan decided his best bet would be to filet the fish, and take only the parts that fit inside his shorts.

Once safe and inside, he removed the dead fish inside a bathroom and went to his seat. Had Waddell stuck with tradition, the fish wouldn’t have been thrown until the Predators scored. But with his team losing 3-0 halfway through the action, Waddell grew impatient.

The game had to stop in order for the fish to be cleaned up off the ice. During that time, Waddell was escorted out of the stadium with a smile on his face.


The Predators lost the game 5-3 and will look to tie the series at one game a piece on Wednesday, May 31 at 8 p.m. EST.

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