Wed Sep 09 12:29pm EDT
It's a San Diego Chargers (and perhaps NFL) tradition. The team's rookie first-rounder is obligated to take the rest of the team out to dinner, and without fail, at this dinner, every monstrous defensive tackle on the team gorges themselves on lobster tails like they haven't eaten in a month. No one's really shy about running up the bill.
Immediate reaction: Yikes.
Upon further review, though, Larry English got off light. Shawne Merriman(notes) says that after he was drafted, his rookie dinner cost him $32,000. Maybe Merriman took everyone out to a fine steakhouse, and Larry English insisted on TGI Friday's. Five dollars to make a couple of deserts a la mode doesn't seem unreasonable.
The other famous Chargers rookie dinner came back in 1998, when a young man named Ryan Leaf was expected to take everyone out to dinner. Leaf was, um, reluctant, we'll say ... so Junior Seau(notes) stole his credit card and made it happen anyway. Leaf had a fit, and his bill was only $3,000. I hope everyone enjoyed their Extra Value Meals that night.
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