Thu May 12 09:53am EDT
Every winter, there's always that one house in the neighborhood that goes completely overboard with the decorations: Thousands of lights, mechanical reindeer, an inflatable Santa dancing near the chimney.
For hockey fans, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are a holiday; and Detroit Red Wings fans Michael and Sarah Tyler of Livonia have the hockey equivalent of that grandiose house.
For the last four years, they've transformed their home into a shrine to the Wings, with lawn ornaments and roof toppers and bright lights — and it's slowly becoming as much a playoff tradition for some fans as an octopus hitting the Joe Louis Arena ice.
How many hockey fan houses have their own Facebook page?
The tradition began during the Red Wings' 2008 Stanley Cup championship run. They attended a tribute night to Wings star Henrik Zetterberg(notes) at the arena, and received a large flag with his image on it.
As relayed by the Detroit News, Sarah Tyler suggested they hang it in the window of the house. Her husband came up with the idea to do a 10-foot-tall Styrofoam octopus. The tradition just grew from there.
Mike Tyler told WWJ in Detroit that they begin sketching out plans for the house, found on Farmington Road, about a month before the postseason starts.
Tyler spoke with "Blaine and Allyson in the Morning" on 96.3 WDVD recently about the house:
"Every year, we celebrate. We've got a good 25-foot Red Wings symbol made out of red and white rope lights. We put all the players numbers on the front of the house. We have 11 Stanley Cups on the lawn and then a space for the 12th that says 'vacancy.'"
Here's a little video of the house:
Quite an awesome tradition, with fellow fans making the pilgrimage to the house every year. As Mike Tyler said on the radio: "There's nothing like a playoff game at the Joe, but there's nothing like hearing the honks as [the cars] are going by."