Bucs vets prank rookies with $26,000 steakhouse bill

Ah, the rookie restaurant-bill gag, a joke as old as NFL training camps. Vets take the rookies out to dinner at a fine local restaurant, load up on wine and aged beef, and then stick the poor rookies with the bill.

Wednesday night, eight veteran members of Tampa Bay’s offensive line took out two rookies, Korren Kirven and Cole Gardner, to a local Ruth’s Chris steakhouse, and by all accounts everyone had a fine time. And then the bill arrived …


Twenty-six thousand, three hundred fifty-seven dollars and thirty-one cents. That’s $10,000 in cognac and another $10,000-plus in wine. Nice of them to get the children’s dessert for free, though.

As it turned out, though, this was all an elaborate joke set by both the veterans and the steakhouse. The actual bill came out to about $3,000, and the vets picked up the tab. Donovan Smith, one of the ringleaders, copped to the gag on Twitter:


“We didn’t have to pay for anything,” Kirven told ESPN. “We were shocked at first when we saw the bill. We thought we weren’t gonna make it. But at the end, knowing they paid it was pretty cool of them.”

Donovan Smith, good at protecting QBs, better at pranks. (Getty)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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