Bears rookies get sticker shock from phony restaurant tab

It was the kind of thing that could have easily landed Bears rookie defensive end Shea McClellin on the sequel to Broke.

Instead, after a brief scare, he realized it was all just a joke.

After taking the defensive line and a few linebackers out for a Rookie Night dinner, McClellin and practice squader Aston Whiteside were presented with a bill for more than $38,000.

“I didn’t see how, like, 10 guys could spend that much money on one bill,” McClellin said, via Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune. “I was just like: ‘Oh, I’m going to have to pay someone back because I can’t pay all of that right now.'”

Veteran defensive end Israel Idonije had the restraurant goose the bill, with three special “Bears dinners” at $9,999 each. He then tweeted a picture of the $38,091 tab.

“It was hilarious,” Idonije said. “They didn’t know what to do with themselves. It was fun.”

Paying for meals is part of the gig for rookies, and Bears coach Lovie Smith said he had no problems with it.

“I know we’re a close-knit locker room, for sure. Close-knit group,” Smith said. “Being a rookie . . . there’s a reason why you are a rookie. You have to work your way from the bottom to the top. I am sure it is all in good fun.”

At least McClellin was a first-round pick. Whiteside’s practice squad salary of $5,700 per week would barely cover the tax on the phony tab.

29 responses to “Bears rookies get sticker shock from phony restaurant tab

  1. So rookies put money that provides a bonus to other players based on their veteran status. Money that’s not accounted for in contracts….somebody call Goodell!

  2. Even without the “special” dinners, that’s a tab of over $4,000 before tax. Not exactly McDonald’s!

    Great gag, BTW.

  3. So even after you subtract the phony charge 10 of those guys ran up a tab of $4,397.50 Holy crap thats $439.75 each.

  4. Here’s something to ponder:

    The NFL league office stated that any sort of compensation/bonuses/incentives paid outside of players’ contracts are illegal. An argument could be made that this dinner is compensation that rookie players are required to pay to veteran players.

    Although this rookie dinner is not an official “team” event, being required to buy an expensive meal for teammates could be called a form of compensation. Also, Lovie Smith’s comments show that this compensation is condoned by team management.

    Some people might say that calling the rookie dinner “illegal compensation outside of the agreement with the NFLPA” is taking all the fun out of football. Others might argue that strikes and lockouts have already taken the fun out of football and have created an environment where everything has to be viewed as strictly business.

  5. That’s funny – until you realize that the Dallas Cowboys actually DID spend $50,000 on a dinner that was charged to Dez Bryant.

    Some team.

  6. jimmylions says:
    Oct 11, 2012 12:53 PM
    Here’s something to ponder:

    The NFL league office stated that any sort of compensation/bonuses/incentives paid outside of players’ contracts are illegal. An argument could be made that this dinner is compensation that rookie players are required to pay to veteran players.

    Although this rookie dinner is not an official “team” event, being required to buy an expensive meal for teammates could be called a form of compensation. Also, Lovie Smith’s comments show that this compensation is condoned by team management.

    Some people might say that calling the rookie dinner “illegal compensation outside of the agreement with the NFLPA” is taking all the fun out of football. Others might argue that strikes and lockouts have already taken the fun out of football and have created an environment where everything has to be viewed as strictly business.
    ________________________________

    And some people might say that lawyers and litigious-minded people (Exhibit A: the post above) are exactly what’s ruining this country.

    It’s a gag, a joke — so just relax, Johnny Cochran — no one’s extorting these rookies, no one’s making them do anything they don’t want to do.

    Lighten up – otherwise you’re part of the problem.

  7. Yea, it’s a joke unless you’re one of the many unlucky practice squadders that never stick around long enough for a real NFL contract. All of a sudden a bunch of veterans who’ve already made millions of dollars taking a hefty chunk out of that ~$70k per year after taxes isn’t so funny. But hey, what do I know?

  8. So tired of these stupid pranks. In GB they do something similar at a grocery store w/turkeys. Why, its not funny. Its old and played out. Find something else to Haze the rookies with.

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