Don't mess with the Tennessee Titans
Credit: John Russell/Getty Images

You might not expect a hockey team based in Nashville, Tennessee, to have the most rabid supporters in the NHL. But in recent times, Predators games have been packed to the gills with passionate fans. Oh, and lots of catfish.

That’s right: though the tradition technically dates all the way back to a 1999 game against the Detroit Red Wings, Nashvillians really began to embrace the idea of smuggling catfish into Bridgestone Arena during last season’s deep playoff run, tossing them onto the ice and generally incorporating them into celebrations.

With the Preds back in the playoffs this year, the tradition shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, a couple members of the Tennessee Titans decided to raise the stakes. Before the puck dropped on the Predators’ game against the Winnipeg Jets, Taylor Lewan and some of the Titans’ other offensive linemen whipped out a catfish, held it aloft, and used it as a beer luge.

Lewan’s unconventional and pungent method of Bud Light consumption probably didn’t make the beer taste better, but it’s clear that he enjoyed every second of it.

“Those are big men,” said hockey analyst and former NHL coach Barry Melrose commenting on Lewan’s stunt in a video for ESPN. “They love the Predators, they love stinky dead fish, and they love beer.”

Sure enough, the cent of victory—and gross fish—was in the air that night. With Lewan and his teammates energizing the crowd, it was perhaps inevitable that Nashville wound up winning the game in double overtime. Their second round series against Winnipeg is now tied at one game apiece, so there are definitely some superstitious Preds fans who want to make sure that Lewan is drinking from a catfish luge at every home game. After all, it didn’t not work.