Videos by OutKick
Smylie Kaufman, former PGA Tour golfer and current golf commentator, launched his new podcast this week. And his first guest was a big get: PGA star Justin Thomas. Kaufman and Thomas are close friends, so the conversation flows naturally between buddies. The pair covered a range of topics, but one story about JT, Kaufman, Sidney Crosby and several other Pittsburgh Penguins particularly stands out.
Last month, Justin Thomas failed to make the cut at the Masters. A week later, his group of friends — along with Kaufman — were dining out.
And their group ended up at the same restaurant as Crosby and some Penguins teammates. Thomas explains that Crosby takes his teammates on a golf trip after each season. Because the Penguins missed the playoffs, that trip came earlier than usual.
After Thomas notices Crosby and the Penguins, he eventually gets the attention of some of the guys. He explains that Crosby probably didn’t know who he was at first, likely just some drunk fan. But a few of the teammates recognized Thomas.
So, Crosby and the boys sent over a nice bottle of wine. A friendly gesture. Although, as “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fans know, sometimes gifting someone a bottle of wine at a nice restaurant isn’t what it seems.
And Justin Thomas’ description of what happened next isn’t far off that scene, either. Just like Dennis starts cooking up a way to “get back” at Frank and Charlie for the gesture, Thomas decides he needs to send something back to Crosby and the gang.
So, he tells the waiter he wants to order one caesar salad for the Penguins. And he wants the waiter to split that salad into eight portions.
Thankfully for Thomas, the waiter is all-in. He tells Thomas he’ll put one piece of lettuce on each plate with one crouton.
So, the “salads” get delivered to the table. A few minutes later, Thomas says, seven shots show up to their table. The glasses are rimmed with salt and garnished with a lime. The liquid inside the glass is warm.
Thomas and his boys start freaking out. They think they’re all going to have to do warm — probably bottom-shelf — tequila shots. Until they realize it’s not tequila. It’s just warm salt water.
Not to be out done, Thomas then sends Crosby’s table eight glasses of 2% milk. Yes, he specified that the milk was 2%. Thomas definitely has a post-golf career in broadcasting because that attention to detail in recounting a story is impeccable.
Thomas says he also tried to pick up the Penguins tab as a “thank you” for the wine, but the team refused. And they refused with a note that said something to the effect of “you don’t need to pay for our meal because you’re probably hurting from that missed Masters cut.”
Really top-shelf back-and-forth trolling between two groups of dudes.
But their “Always Sunny” adventure didn’t even end there. Thomas says that the two groups were staying in houses that were very close to one another. The Penguins invited the golf group back to their house.
There, they engaged in an epic game of flip cup that included captains picking teams. Sound familiar?
Though, no one was poisoned in the game. However, I gained a new respect for Smylie Kaufman. As Justin Thomas tells the story, he’s on Sidney Crosby’s team for the match. Kaufman is on the opposing side. Crosby and Kaufman are the team anchors.
Thomas says his team performed just horribly. They all looked like Dee Reynolds. So, Kaufman’s team gets the round to him fairly quickly, with the Thomas and Crosby team lagging well behind.
But rather than just finish the game, Kaufman simply waits. And stares down Sidney Crosby. He doesn’t want to win in a blowout — he wants Crosby to have a chance.
As soon as Thomas’ team gets it to Crosby, Kaufman calmly drinks his beer, flips his cup and wins the match for his squad. Right in future Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby’s face.
As Kaufman says: “I think I peaked in life in that moment.”
Full story starts just past the 50-minute mark and the Penguins part comes in around the 57-minute mark.
It’s a terrific story that serves as a reminder that most male pro athletes are just a bunch of dudes who like to have a good time. And that good time usually involves some trash talk and competition.
Boys will be boys.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak