SI: Several athletes, including Tony Hawk, Andy Roddick and Barry Zito, are huge fans of your band. What's your favorite story involving an athlete who's also a fan?
Matthews: We were playing Live 8 in Philadelphia, and a bunch of the Eagles were there. I was like, Who are these big dudes? It was Donovan McNabb and a couple other cats. It's a back and forth thing--who gets to say, "I really dig what you do," first. Then the other one has to come up with something else to say.
Beauford: Last year Rick Fox came to one of our shows. I'm a Lakers fan, so I was blown away. Just the coolest cat to hang with. Before he got backstage, he was jumping up and down in the crowd. He was so thrilled to be near us. It was the weirdest thing. I was like, Dude, I'm supposed to be like that.
SI: Have you played any sports stadiums that left you awed by your surroundings?
Beauford: We played Soldier Field and got to spend some time with Walter Payton's son, Jarrett. He's a great dude and a great athlete. It was a pretty intense moment. And talk about a place with history--Soldier Field. I cry every time I see Brian's Song.
SI: Your songs are often played at sporting events. What's it like hearing them there?
Beauford: I was watching a Rangers hockey game, and they played Ants Marching in the arena. It completely took me by surprise. It was the coolest thing to hear the people give a nice roar in response to what they are listening to.
SI: What's the best sporting event you've attended?
Beauford: Michael Jordan's final game. He gave me his signed Wizards jersey. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life.
Matthews: A soccer game in Curitiba, Brazil. Curitiba unexpectedly beat S√£o Paulo. I had never been at a stadium with a bunch of crazy Brazilians. They had a moat around the field with spikes in it so people couldn't run onto the field.
SI: How would the Dave Matthews Band fare in a basketball game against other bands?
Matthews: Depends on who we were playing. I think Hootie and the Blowfish play dirty.
Beauford: We have Dave and [violinist] Boyd Tinsley, who are big boys, but Darius [Rucker, of Hootie and the Blowfish] and those guys are pretty tall. It would be a close one.
Matthews: I'd be afraid to play Prince and the Revolution. Because they got game. --Richard Deitsch