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The Malik Report

ESPN the Magazine interviews an ‘ultimate (octopus) smuggler’

ESPN's about to release its annual estimation of professional sports' best franchises--and the Free Press's James revealed that the Red Wings will finish 13th in ESPN's annual "Ultimate Standings" issue---and ESPN the Magazine's Rachel Ullrich spoke with an "ultimate smuggler," Red Wings fan Nick Dinverno, about the ins and outs of sneaking an octopus into Joe Louis Arena:

Step 1: Prepare your goods: The first step for Dinverno involves a trip to his local Asian fish market for some octopus, which comes frozen in a block of ice. Once he's done chipping away at the giant cube -- "You've kind of got to beat it with a hammer" -- he boils it. "It smells awful," he says. "Honestly, it stinks up your kitchen for a week."

Step 2: Keep it compact: Dinverno prefers using an octopus about the size of a softball and cramming it into a plastic bag. Balling it up as small as possible not only makes it less conspicuous but also increases throwing velocity. "It goes into a circle shape after you boil it, and you could throw that thing 30 yards."

Step 3: Tape it up: Dinverno tapes it to his ankle and wears baggy jeans to hide the bulge. For bigger octopuses -- he's seen them up to four feet in length on the ice -- people use garbage bags taped around their waists. But most important: "I always use hockey tape. Duct tape's going to rip off every hair on your leg."

Step 4: Play it cool: "You're only shady if you look shady," he says, noting the importance of resisting the urge to touch, itch or readjust your smuggled goods. The only thing left is to bask in the glory of impressed seatmates. "Everybody cracks up. They love it," Dinverno says. "The first time I threw one, everyone on the aisle was giving me high-fives when I ran back to my seat."

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.