1995 : Rick’s American Cafe Hosts Tiger Woods, Hootie and the Blowfish, and the Stanley Cup All on the Same Night

August 8, 2022 all-day

Every so often, the story of when Hootie & the Blowfish, Tiger Woods and the Stanley Cup all ended up at Rick’s American Cafe in East Lansing on the same night back in 1995 will come to the surface.

Such was the occasion on Tuesday night when Jesse O’Brien, a former writer for the Grand Rapids Business Journal and before that a freelance writer for the State Journal, tweeted out a link and a screenshot of an interview former Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker did with PGATour.com earlier this month.

In the interview, Rucker — who performed at Woods’ wedding to his first wife, Elin, and remains friends with him — shared the story once again of the first time he met Woods, which occurred at Rick’s.

As the story goes, on Aug. 8, 1995, Hootie and the Blowfish played in East Lansing at the Michigan Festival.

The Stanley Cup was in the hands of current Michigan State hockey coach and Waverly High School graduate Danton Cole, who happened to have the famed trophy on that particular day after his New Jersey Devils had won the NHL title earlier in the summer.

Woods, according to Cole, was in town visiting a friend, having recently played in the Western Amateur Championship in Benton Harbor.

In the interview, Rucker says: “We were sitting at the bar and I look over the bar and I’m like, ‘Isn’t that that Tiger Woods kid that everybody’s talking about?’ He’s 18. And he was going to Stanford and (our bass player Dean Felber) says like, yeah. So I went over and I said, ‘Are you Tiger Woods?’ and he says, ‘Are you the guy from Hootie and the Blowfish?’ and I sat down and we just hung out all night.

“But the thing that tops the story, I’m sitting there with this kid, Tiger Woods, 18, and we’re sitting there and then somebody (a former Michigan State hockey player) comes in with the Stanley Cup. It was his week. Here I am in the bar with Tiger Woods and sitting on the bar was the frigging Stanley Cup. That was a crazy night.”

Source : Phil Friend, “The time Tiger Woods, Hootie & the Blowfish, Stanley Cup, Danton Cole showed up at Rick’s“, Lansing State Journal,  February 13 (updated February 15), 2019.