Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto asked for leniency toward the Nashville Predators fan who threw a catfish onto the ice during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“This has turned into a whale of a story,” Peduto said in a statement, per his office’s official Twitter account. “From my perch, I agree with [Nashville Mayor Megan 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.”
In addition to Peduto’s light-hearted statement, Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) joked about the situation on Twitter:
Senator Bob Casey @SenBobCasey
@jsilverpg @billpeduto the legislation to ban the interstate trafficking of catfish will be epic. Stay tuned Predators fans.
The Pittsburgh Police Department (via ESPN.com) announced Tuesday it was charging Jacob Waddell with disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime and disrupting meetings and processions for throwing the catfish on the ice.
In an interview with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville (via CBS Pittsburgh’s Julie Grant), Waddell explained how he got the fish into PPG Paints Arena.
“I drove it up there. Drove with my wife, my family up there, had it in a cooler, sprayed it down with cologne,” he said. “I had two pairs of underwear on. I had regular underwear on, and I had compression shorts on and I slid it between the two and walked right in.”
Waddell played down the significance of the incident, saying, “It was just a dumb redneck with a bad idea, and it’s turned into all this.”
Beyond the brief delay it caused during Game 1, Waddell’s actions didn’t cause any harm to fans inside the arena. If anything, those sitting next to Waddell would almost certainly have preferred to see him dispatch of the catfish in an expedient manner rather than continue to carry it around.