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Rust hails to the victors

The Notre Dame alum lost a bet to Michigan alum Jack Johnson

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

After the Penguins' practice on Monday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, Bryan Rust donned a baseball hat and sat down at his locker stall.

Though this time, it wasn't his usual Pittsburgh Penguins baseball cap - it was the Michigan Wolverines.

"'Rusty' is ready to do media!" Jack Johnson chirped from across the room.

As I walked over to talk with Rust, he had one request. 

"Not on camera," Rust said with a smile.

That's because Rust, who played college hockey at the University of Notre Dame, didn't want video evidence of him wearing a hat from a rival school. 

Rust was only wearing the baseball hat because he had lost a bet to Johnson, who played college hockey at the University of Michigan, following their school's head-to-head football game this past weekend.

"Me and Jack had a bet on the football game Saturday between Notre Dame and Michigan," Rust said. "The loser had to buy the other dinner, as well as wear the hat of the other person's team during media. I lost by a lot, so here I am."

The football game was scheduled for the same time as Pittsburgh's game against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. As the Penguins went on to win 3-0, Michigan was triumphing over Notre Dame 45-14.

Rust said he wasn't thinking about the score of the football game after he got off the ice, where he scored a big goal in his season debut following a preseason injury. But Johnson made sure to let him know right away.

"The second I got off the ice I was more just talking to media, happy about playing a game, happy that we won," Rust said. "Then Jack comes up to me and rubs it in."

While Johnson was happy about the outcome, he admitted he wasn't sure what to expect heading in.

"I was fully prepared for anything," Johnson said. "I actually have a Notre Dame football shirt at home, though Rusty had a hat for me. I usually make the bet with my brother-in-law (Brady Quinn). He played at Notre Dame. So, I have some Notre Dame apparel ready to go."

There's probably some Wolverines apparel in the Rust household as well, since his father and his brother are Michigan alumni. And while Rust grew up a Michigan fan in the suburbs of Detroit, that didn't make losing the bet hurt any less.

"It might hurt a little bit more knowing my brother might find this and rub it in a little bit," Rust said.

When asked how Rust looked in the Michigan hat, Johnson actually brought up Matt Rust, who played four years of college hockey for the Wolverines.

"He looks good. He looks like his brother," Johnson said with a laugh.

It was painful, but Rust kept his word on the first part of the bet. Now he just owes Johnson dinner at some point.

"Maybe we'll go to McDonald's or something," Rust joked. "No, I don't know. I'm sure on one of these next road trips I'll let him pick a spot and hopefully he's generous with where he picks. But we'll see."

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