New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick doesn’t seem like one of those people who appreciates a good prank. The stern-faced Super Bowl winner doesn’t typically smile on the sideline. Really, he seems to be nothing more than a stick in the mud.
Now, imagine drinking at a hotel bar with the head coach. How would those conversations turn out? Would he somehow change his ways with a couple drinks in him? Would he pick up your tab?
Well, this is something former Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather found out first hand during the 2009 Pro Bowl. Unfortunately for Meriweather, it came after former offensive tackle Matt Light decided to play a prank on him. An unfair prank. A mean-spirited prank. A funny prank.
“(Meriweather’s) kind of the young guy, kind of the odd man out, and he’s not saying much,” Light told The Toucher and Rich Show on WBZ in Boston. “He’s just laughing, joining in the festivities, and I walked over to him and — I [had seen] him order a drink from the waitress — I said, ‘Hey man, you do know that you can put all this on Bill’s room, right?'”
Where exactly is this story going? Was Meriweather so gullible that he believed Bill Belichick would pick up his bar tab? Say it ain’t so, sir.
Sadly, that’s exactly what happened.
“Fast forward like four or five hours,” Light continued. “I literally witnessed him walk up to Bill with his check, like the little card that has your bill in it, and hand it to coach Belichick and say, ‘Hey, thank you coach. I appreciate you,’ in a way only that he could do it. Like you could imagine what that conversation looked like.”
That in and itself is bad. To be a fly on the wall when this conversation was transpiring. Was Bill being pranked by his young safety? How would he handle the situation? We can only envision him putting his hoodie on and slamming the door on Meriweather’s face. That had to be the only end result here, right?
“And I’ll never forget — Bill’s looking at him like, ‘What are you talking about?’ But Linda’s (Belichick’s longtime partner Linda Holliday) like, ‘Go ahead, take care of the tab,” Light continued. “Help him out, right?’ It was the most uncomfortable awkward moment I’ve ever witnessed with coach.”
One can only hope that Light somehow diffused the situation and paid for the bill himself. If not, that’s all sorts of awkward between the then young safety and his head coach.
Meriweather went on to earn a second consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl the following season, only to be released months later. Surely, this didn’t play a role in his demise with the Patriots.
Please tell us it didn’t. Please, Bill.
There’s another lesson for young football players here. When you are drinking with your teammates and head coach, don’t take a darn word they say seriously. It’s more likely than not that they are messing with you. It’s the adult version of hazing, one that ended up costing Belichick some cold-hard cash. And we know very well by the attire he wears, Belichick isn’t necessarily the opposite of frugal.