The story told by former Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sticking a rookie with a $25,000 tab was interesting. It would have been even more interesting if it were, you know, accurate.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it started as a dinner for offensive linemen at a steakhouse, not a club. The offensive linemen determined that former Steelers offensive lineman Tony Hills, a rookie at the time, would pay. (Hills, who currently plays for the Cowboys, was a fourth-round pick of the Steelers in 2008.)
The quarterbacks showed up as well, the linemen ran up a huge bill, and Hills wasn’t able to pay it.
Roethlisberger actually paid roughly half of the amount on the spot, with Hills reimbursing him later.
The practice of sticking rookies with huge bar and club tabs, which was one of the issues raised in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal, has ended in Pittsburgh. It’s probably ended with most NFL teams.