Best Detroit Red Wings Pop Culture References

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Mar 31, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Fans hold up a sign for Detroit Red Wings former player Gordie Howe during the first period against the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Being that the Detroit Red Wings are one of the most popular and legendary teams in all of professional sports, it’s no surprise that team has found their way into several pop culture appearances throughout their almost 90-year history. In no particular order, here are some of the Red Wings’ most memorable pop culture appearances.

The Simpsons:

It’s only fitting that one of America’s oldest hockey teams would pop up in America’s longest-running sitcom. The Red Wings have found their way into a couple of memorable episodes from The Simpsons during the show’s 26 season run. Here are a couple of instances where Detroit found themselves in Springfield.

In episode 51 titled “Bart The Lover”, Bart’s hopelessly romantic teacher Ms. Krabapple places a personal ad in the local Springfield newspaper. Bart, who is currently serving a month-long detention sentence in the episode, decides to get back at his teacher by inventing a suave ladies man named “Woodrow” to respond to the ad. After receiving a racy picture from Krabapple in one of her letters, Bart responds by cutting out a picture of Gordie Howe from a nearby book and mails it to Krabapple, who ends up swooning over the handsome “Mr. Hockey”.

At the end of the episode the camera freezes on the framed picture of Howe and a list of his career statistics is displayed before the show’s credits roll. The original plan for the episode was to have Bart send Edna a picture of famous NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas, but the show was unable to secure the rights to use Unitas’ image.

The Detroit winged-wheel made an appearance during episode 401 titled “He Loves to Fly and He D’ohs”. In the episode Homer saves his boss Mr. Burns from drowning in a mall-fountain after Burns greedily tries to steal a quarter from Ralph Wiggum. Impressed by Homer’s heroic act, Burns offers to buy Homer dinner, to which Homer confesses his love for Chicago deep dish pizza.

So naturally the well-to-do Mr. Burns and Homer take Burns’ private-jet to Chicago for some authentic deep dish pizza. While sightseeing in the Windy City Homer and Burns stop at a shop called “Ferris Bueller’s Day of Beauty”. Upon the duo’s exit, Homer is dressed in a #9 Detroit Red Wings’ jersey in reference to the movie that the store was named after (more on that later).

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