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.