Vince Vaughn, Blackhawks fan, picked up huge dinner tab for Lightning coach

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CHICAGO – Vince Vaughn was all over Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. The avid Chicago Blackhawks fan interviewed captain Jonathan Toews before coverage began on CBC, and then was seated in his usual spot against the glass for the game, supporting the home team. 

One night earlier, he was picking up the tab for the enemy.

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper and a party of 20 dined at Chicago Cut, the restaurant where Charles Barkley picked up the tab for the coaches and front office personnel on Sunday.

The Chicago Tribune explains what went down when Vaughn saw Cooper, whom Chicago Cut managing partner David Flom said is an old friend of his:

The two men hugged and spoke for about 10 minutes before the “Swingers” and “Old School” star sat down for dinner with his party of 12, which included former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.

“Cooper called me over to his table and said, ‘Hey, I want to pick up Vince Vaughn’s check,’” Flom said. “He was doing it to be kind because of the Barkley thing. I tell the server and then walk by Vince’s table. Sure enough, Vince looks at me and says, ‘I know that guy just called you over to pick up my check. That’s not how we roll in Chicago.’ He goes, ‘This is Chicago, my town. This is how we treat people. I got his check.’ How can you argue with Vince Vaughn? I said, ‘OK, no problem.’ I go walk away and he stands up and says, ‘I got his check. This is Chicago.’

“So we go over to Cooper and he goes, ‘Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Twice with 20 people and I haven’t paid once.’”

And here we thought that the Chicago Way was “they send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue.” (Read it as Sean Connery. It’s epic.)

We’ll just go ahead and assume die-hard Chicago fan Vaughn didn’t buy dinner for the coach trying to eliminate his team, and simply mistook him for a young Michael Keaton.

Cooper is evidently such a huge Vince Vaughn fan, he’s incorporated dogma from “Wedding Crashers” into his coaching. From the Trib:

It’s unclear how Vaughn and Cooper know each other, but Cooper seems to be a fan of Vaughn’s work. The Lightning’s Mark Barberio told nhl.com that Cooper asks that his team follow two rules from Vaughn’s movie  “Wedding Crashers”: No excuses, play like a champion (rule No. 76) and don't look for opportunities, make them (rule No. 113).

What, no “never leave another Crasher behind?” That one seemed natural.

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