Ag represented at Oilers game

Ag represented at Oilers game
May 21, 2024

Fans threw beef on the ice during Game 6 between Edmonton and Vancouver

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Alberta’s beef industry had two moments in the spotlight during Game 6 between the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks on May 18.

Prior to puck drop, a fan threw a piece of (ideally local) beef onto the ice at Rogers Arena in Edmonton.

And it happened again in the late stages of the third period with the Oilers up 5-1 and on their way to forcing a seventh game.

“ALBERTA BEEF IS THE NEW DETROIT OCTOPUS,” Courtney Theriault, a host on 630 CHED in Edmonton said on X, referring to the Detroit Red Wings tradition of throwing an octopus onto the ice.

As far as the cut goes, an expert gave his opinion.

On X, Corey Meyer, a butcher, and owner of Acme Meat Market in Edmonton, opined that it “looks like a blade/bone-in chuck steak.”

Edmonton and Vancouver played the seventh game of their series on May 20, and Oilers fans again brought the beef.

After Vancouver scored to make it a 3-2 game in the third period, someone (likely an Oilers fan) put another Alberta stamp on the ice.

“Amid the celebration as Canucks have cut it to 3-2, another large steak has been thrown onto the ice,” hockey reporter Frank Seravalli said on X. “Oilers call timeout to regroup.”

The Oilers won the seventh game and moved onto the Western Conference Final where the team will play the Dallas Stars.

These recent bovine displays of support for the Oilers are not new, but they’re few and far between.

In the 2006 playoffs with the Oilers playing the Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton radio personalities Gary McLachlan and Chris Scheetz encouraged Oiler fans to throw beef on the ice to counter the octopus of the Red Wings.

Fans did this in every playoff round as the Oilers made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final where they’d eventually fall short to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Seeing the beef brought back memories for Scheetz.

“2 slabs of Alberta Beef have hit the ice tonight,” he said on X on May 18. “I’ve waited almost 20 years to see that again.”

Beef isn’t the only ag reference used in sports.

In soccer, for example, fans of the English soccer team Chelsea are known to throw celery around.

Two theories exist as to why this tradition started.

One is that after Matthew Harding, the club’s vice-chairman, died in an October 1996 helicopter crash, someone placed a bundle of celery among the flowers at the site.

Another theory is that, to mock Manchester United supporters who chanted “Wembley!” in reference to their home stadium, Chelsea fans began singing for the green vegetable.

Or take the University of Kansas, which incorporates wheat into some celebrations.

When the University of Kansas Jayhawks score a touchdown, or an opponent fouls out of a basketball game, fans raises both arms in the air and wave them back and forth, mimicking wheat on a windy day.

The tradition dates back to the 1930s, when Kansas farmers produced more wheat than corn.

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