The Joe Louis Arena is no longer an Octopus's garden. I think I'm gonna be sad.
As I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry the NHL banned Al Sobotka, JLA's building operations manager, from retrieving and twirling an octopus when a fan throws one on the ice.
James Mirtle is tracking this too. Today, he posted Frank Brown's comment from last year about thrown octopi.
Frank Brown, the league’s vice president for media relations, said: “Every so often, an octopus slips out of someone’s hands, and Al is right there to take care of the matter. And he cannot be blamed if, as it tries to break free from Al’s grasp, the octopus lifts Al’s arm and twirls itself in the air.”
— The New York Times, May 2007
What changed in nearly a year? Pressure from Brian Burke?
The banning is a shame, and it does make me sad.
Sobotka has a lot of history with the Wings, and the Wings have a lot of history with octopi. Versus calls it a cult following.
A LetsGoWings.com member started a petition pleading the NHL not to fine Sobotka.
Hopefully the NHL will reverse this recent decision.