Don't mess with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, even if you're a recruit.
Don't mess with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, even if you're a recruit. Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP

New recruits shocked when left with a $26,000 dinner bill

IT'S the oldest trick in the book - run up a huge dinner tab and then force the rookies to pay.

Only this time as the veterans from the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers introduced their first-year players to the big leagues, there was a wicked twist.

The Bucs hit up a Jacksonville steakhouse for their traditional rookie dinner this week with the normal rules - the rookies foot the bill for each position group.


That spelled fear for Korren Kirven, 22, and Cole Gardner, 23, given they'd be covering whatever was consumed by the team's monstrous offensive linemen.

But even Kirven and Gardner couldn't believe their eyes when the following receipt landed on their table.

But a close inspection of the orders started raising flags. $10,000 in cognac? Another $3450 in red wine? It was a fake.


Starting left tackle Donovan Smith confirmed the vets had teamed with the restaurant to produce a sham bill as part of a prank on the newcomers.

In even better news for Kirven and Gardner, the older crew also paid the real total, which was around $3000.

"We didn't have to pay for anything," Kirven said. "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."

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