Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 10/11/12
As part of their initiation into the NFL — financial and otherwise — it’s customary for rookie players to treat their veteran teammates to an expensive feast. The Bears took it to a whole new level. During Tuesday’s Rookie Night, first-round pick Shea McClellin and practice squad member Aston Whiteside took several defensive mates out to dinner at Maestro’s, an upscale steakhouse in Chicago. After stuffing themselves with copious amounts of meat and other delicious edibles, McClellin was stunned to learn the bill exceeded $38,000. “I didn’t see how, like, 10 guys could spend that much money on one bill,” McClellin said, via 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.’” It turned out to be a clever hoax set up by vet lineman Israel Idonije, who, following a good laugh, tweeted a picture of the tab to his nearly 1,100,000 followers. “We all went out to dinner for Rookie Night and we had the restaurant bring the big bill just to shock Aston (Whiteside on the practice squad) and Shea,” said Idonije. “It was hilarious. They didn’t know what to do with themselves. It was fun.” Coach Lovie Smith didn’t know of the prank, but agreed with the idea, saying it’s all a part of the rookie process. “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.”
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