Goldfish game time

Goldfish game time

Perrysburg students cheer on senior as he swallows a goldfish during half time of the 2015 Perrysburg-Maumee basketball game. THE BLADE

Perrysburg students cheer on a senior as he swallows a goldfish during half time of the 2015 Perrysburg-Maumee boys basketball game. Photo: THE BLADE

Story behind this annual PHS tradition, plus dangers about swallowing these slimy aquarium fish

By Ashlin Smart
eSomethin Staff

It’s the night seniors look forward to and the night that PETA wants to stop.

The boys’ basketball game against Maumee is always one to look forward to for one of many reasons: goldfish. This year’s Perrysburg-Maumee “Goldfish” rivalry game is Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the PHS gym.

At this game, during halftime, the seniors all go outside and swallow at least one goldfish. Why do they do this, you ask? Tradition says that for good luck to win against Maumee, students eat goldfish because it resembles their uniforms.

In 2014, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) published an article stating that they wanted this tradition to end, and even gave out the numbers and emails of Superintendent Tom Hosler, and principal Dr. Mike Short. That article can been seen here:

This tradition dates back to 1981 when it was said that students ate worms between the junior varsity and varsity game.

“I think it’s kind of disgusting, but I mean I’m probably going to do it,” senior Addison Young said.

It is rumored that stores around the area will not sell fish to high school students around this time. A manager of Petsmart — who asked to remain nameless — is one.

“We do not sell to students, typically we use our best judgment and turn them down,” the manager said. “We question them and usually figure it out right then.”  

The main questions on everybody’s mind are: What happens to the fish, and will there be any health risks?

“Fish can carry disease, and that’s the big thing, multiple fish that people just go buy, there can be various diseases that the fish carry,” said school nurse Debbie Reddick.

Some students worry about the tail of the fish.

“I don’t think there’s an issue with the fin tails, Mrs. Reddick said.  “I think the only issue would be contamination. In the end you just feel sorry for the fish.” 

Seniors, don’t worry about the fish swimming around in your stomach, your stomach acid will kill it instantly.

If you don’t want to eat a live goldfish but still want to participate, you can always grab the snack that smiles back, it can still count.

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