NASHVILLE – Five friends, 115 beers and a $1,127 bar tab.
Welcome to Nashville, when hosting a Stanley Cup Final game.
David Hudson, Justin Gray, Zack Callis, Shaun Womack and Jon Livezey hit Broadway around 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, setting up for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins. They didn’t have tickets. They just wanted to be as close to the arena as possible, as an estimated 50,000 people partied in downtown Nashville during the first Stanley Cup Final home game in franchise history.
The guys chose Rippy’s, a ribs and brews joint across the street from Bridgestone Arena. “Rippy’s was the most logical choice given its location and that upstairs patio. We wanted to make sure we got there early enough to get a great spot upstairs, so I just went straight from the airport to the bar and we snagged a great table,” said Gray, who flew in from Brooklyn. “The rest is blurry history.”
Hudson lives in Madison, Wisconsin, but has been a Predators fan for years. He had slammed back drinks at Rippy’s in 2005 after Nashville’s home opener, as part of his bachelor party. “It has a great reputation for being a fan gathering spot, and we wanted to be around other Predators fans,” he said.
And so they snagged a table in the morning, and drank.
Then drank so more.
And some more after that, until they ended up with this incredible tab:
The quintet starting ordering single beers, and then realized that Rippy’s did them by the bucket. They’re legit Coors Light fans.
“We got ragged on a bit for choosing Coors Light, but when you show up to a bar at 11am and expect to be there for 12 hours, you need a beer that’s perfect for that long slow burn and an IPA isn’t gonna do it. Coors Light hit that perfect spot for us,” said Gray.
They estimated from the time they arrived to the time they settled up, each of them had 18 bottles of Coors. Which, again, seems like a lot, if you’re not spiritually dedicated to a love of the Silver Bullet.
“Many years ago I fell into the Tennessee River with a soft sided cooler of Coors Light that I was wearing like a messenger bag, and I can’t swim very well,” recalled Hudson. “The cans of Coors Light were buoyant enough to float me back to the surface. How could I not [expletive] love Coors Light when it has saved my life on at least one occasion?”
As one might imagine in Nashville, on a Stanley Cup party night, things would get more surreal as the day wore on and they did. Like the guy dressed like a catfish who walked into the bar. And the guy trying to offer Hudson U.S. Open tickets. The sunburned bachelorettes. And the random drunk guy who sat with them, left, returned with a Predators shirt, and then was asked to leave by security before the game “as his liver wasn’t running like a finely tuned machine,” said Hudson.
They called him Paul. That’s his Blue Moon and Yazoo on the bill.
So as these puckheads gained temporary infamy for their beer intake, we had to know: Did it bug them at all that they didn’t break the century mark on the Coors Lights?
“It will haunt me forever,” said Hudson.
“I’m sad we didn’t round it out, for sure, but I’m more pissed that we ordered that round of tequila shots at the end,” said Gray.
But it was a day, and $1,127 in bar items, well-spent. They took part in a historic party for the Predators. “I lived in Nashville the majority of my life, and I have never seen the city that electric,” said Hudson. “Spending an afternoon with my best friends and watching the Preds win their first Stanley Cup game makes for one helluva great day. No matter where you looked you were surrounded by Predators’ gold and high-fiving fans.”
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said. “Except ordering seven more Coors Lights.”
UPDATE: The boys have a GoFundMe to try to get back down there and complete the mission.
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