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Bears rookies get sticker shock from phony restaurant tab

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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.

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29 Responses to “Bears rookies get sticker shock from phony restaurant tab”
  1. gilamu says: Oct 11, 2012 12:01 PM

    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. mazblast says: Oct 11, 2012 12:03 PM

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

    Great gag, BTW.

  3. cardiovascularendurance says: Oct 11, 2012 12:09 PM

    It looks like it still might have been an $8000 bill. That only sucks a little less.

  4. ap28vikes says: Oct 11, 2012 12:10 PM

    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.

  5. cardiovascularendurance says: Oct 11, 2012 12:10 PM

    …aside from that $3700 tax, so it was $4k??

  6. umrguy42 says: Oct 11, 2012 12:11 PM

    Looks like he still had $4000+ in legitimate charges. That’s a helluva bill, even for 15-20 guys…

  7. wlubake says: Oct 11, 2012 12:15 PM

    Without the trumped-up charges, that is still a $4,000+ tab. $400+ per person. Ouch.

  8. chc36 says: Oct 11, 2012 12:16 PM

    If I just made the tax on that a month I’d be happy

  9. cleverbob says: Oct 11, 2012 12:22 PM

    Yea, make the lowest earners pay their share! Don’t like it? Get drafted higher next time!

  10. ghostofgilchrist says: Oct 11, 2012 12:37 PM

    Nearly 11% tax? Welcome to the Republik of Illinois…

  11. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 11, 2012 12:40 PM

    Did they eat at Shula’s? I got a bill like that there last time I was in Chicago.

  12. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 11, 2012 12:41 PM

    The best part of the evening was the Lobster Bisque.

  13. blackngold4life says: Oct 11, 2012 12:42 PM

    Damn..5,700 a week for practice Squad?? Not bad

  14. 2ndaryinsanity says: Oct 11, 2012 12:45 PM

    Are we sure that isn’t a picture of Vince Young’s monthy bill for Crispy Cream Donuts?

  15. sippindasyzurp says: Oct 11, 2012 12:48 PM

    $5,700 per wk for the practice squad!???

    Times are tough in this economy apparently.

  16. 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.

  17. meytonpanning says: Oct 11, 2012 1:05 PM

    That’s a pricey roast chicken… Hopefully it was good.

  18. nathanbetz91 says: Oct 11, 2012 1:23 PM

    I wish I made $5,700 a week

  19. kurly00 says: Oct 11, 2012 1:39 PM

    Now that is funny……as long as your not McClellen!

  20. xsorethumbx says: Oct 11, 2012 1:43 PM

    Freddie Mitchell is a reporter now? that is awesome

  21. jpb12 says: Oct 11, 2012 1:57 PM

    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.

  22. theralph2012 says: Oct 11, 2012 1:58 PM

    Man I can’t wait to hear the guys on PTI and Around the Horn debate how disrespectful rookie hazing is!!!!!

  23. nbcruinedpft says: Oct 11, 2012 2:00 PM

    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.

  24. abninf says: Oct 11, 2012 2:00 PM

    This is a form of mental “hazing”. I expect to see some suspensions come down.

  25. cleverbob says: Oct 11, 2012 3:23 PM

    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?

  26. judsonjr says: Oct 11, 2012 3:25 PM

    If they stuck that 4k in investments now, they’d have around 100K when they are 60.

  27. onbucky96 says: Oct 11, 2012 4:21 PM

    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.

  28. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Oct 11, 2012 4:47 PM

    Dez Bryant would have picked it up no questions.

  29. nbcruinedpft says: Oct 11, 2012 5:46 PM

    dallascowboysdishingthereal says:
    Oct 11, 2012 4:47 PM
    Dez Bryant would have picked it up no questions.
    _____________________

    …then dropped it.

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