With a massive salary comes massive spending. Not often, but when it happens, it really happens.
Over the years there have no doubt been hundreds upon thousands of incidents involving athletes spending ludicrous amounts of money on a variety of luxuries; cars, homes, exotic pets, toys, etc.
Above all though, what many an athlete likes to do with their bundles of cash is to enjoy to finest foods and most expensive drinks. The days of going to the club with ten of their boys, splitting the price of one bottle and maybe getting two drinks are over, and they will be buried with a vengeance.
Extravagant seven-course meals, an unlimited supply of bottles and the lust and attention of everyone in the establishment – that’s what a multi-million dollar contract can buy you every once in awhile for a few hours, and there have been several athletes over the years who have taken full advantage of their ability to do so.
Lately athletes have been more vigilant in making sure that their escapades aren’t reported and spread by the media for mass consumption – and if the stories do make it to the wire, they are generally snuffed out or tapered down by the best public relations people money can buy.
Thankfully, there have been at least a few instances where athletes, coaches or owners have not only dipped into their deep pockets for a wild night out, but also posted pictures of the evening (and the bill) to prove how crazy their partying really was.
10. Ryan Lochte
Based on the persona and character he gives off when he gets some face-time on TV, Ryan Lochte is the kind of guy you’d expect to be on this list, so this shouldn’t come as a big surprise to any of you. Lochte fits the party-boy athlete profile and he came through for all of us in this case. Lochte reportedly spent $425.00 (peanuts compared to what’s coming up on this list) on drinks at a resto bar in the Penn State area, while also hitting up several other student hot-spots around the college. All of this made the female students quite happy, considering some of the Tweets that were sent out when he was sighted that night.
9. Rob Gronkowski
The surprising thing about this entry is not that Rob Gronkowski is not on this list – rather, it’s surprising that he isn’t ranked higher. Gronk certainly knows how to party (he’s proven as much) and there’s a distinct possibility that he has “Gronked” several beverages over the years, but his grandest evening involves a reported $9,600 bar tab at a club in Las Vegas a couple of years ago.
Here’s hoping that Gronk will find a way to break the $10,000 dollar barrier next time he hits the town (so tonight).
8. DeSean Jackson
Yet another National Football League superstar, and yet another name that does not surprise us at all. DeSean Jackson is known to spend time with some high-rollers, including several rappers who they themselves have made millions of dollars rapping about…money.
DJax’s publicized night out at The Colony (in Los Angeles) is interesting for a couple of reasons. For starters, the photographed bill is massive – over $10,000 – however this receipt was reportedly just covering the drinks ordered in his group’s first twenty minutes there.
Let that sink in; some of us don’t spend ten thousand in a few months, but Jackson spent that much on alcohol in less time than it takes to watch one episode of a sitcom.
7. Mark Cuban
It’s amazing how these things just seem to…work out. All the people you either expected or at least hoped would be on this list have found their way onto it – and while we say so with a tinge of envy, we thank them.
Mark Cuban is not only the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, he’s also the owner of a lot of money. So it goes without question that Cuban would pick up the tab for his boys after his team won the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. Cuban’s $110,000 tab reportedly included a $90,000 bottle of Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades) champagne at LIV (which is in Miami – ballsy move, Cuban) – and of course, some late-night Waffle House.
Hopefully, you had the picture of Dirk Nowitzki chugging a bottle of champagne in your head while reading the above paragraph – and if you didn’t, well, now you do.
6. Doug Collins
Doug Collins’ “tab” is perhaps the most interesting of them all – and was probably the most appreciated by its benefactors.
A couple of years ago, the Philadelphia 76ers ran a promotion with McDonald’s that would get each fan at the game a free Big Mac if the 76ers scored 100 points or more. With 99 on the scoreboard and 24 seconds to play, head coach Doug Collins refused to go for the points and show up his team’s opponents (the Atlanta Hawks), denying the fans their free burgers. With boos raining down on the winning coach, Collins told the P.A. announcer to tell the crowd that the burgers were on him.
At the time, a Big Mac cost nearly $3.50, and a reported 18,000+ fans were in attendance that night. Do the math.
5. Dez Bryant
Dez Bryant lands on this list in a more “traditional” fashion that the others on this list, as his massive bill was the result of his initiation into the NFL. Others (like myself) will call this hazing, but back in 2010 forcing a rookie to eat a $55,000 steakhouse bill was as common as making him carry the veterans’ pads after a training camp practice (which Bryant refused to do that summer, and might have led to this insane tab). His teammates went all out on this one, going as far as bringing home extremely expensive bottles of wine that they ordered off the menu.
Today, this kind of thing would capture the national spotlight and the veterans would have a camp of detractors shaming them to no end, but as recently as five years ago this was a common practice in the NFL – laughed off and accepted with an understanding nod.
4. The Speculated, Unknown Sportsman With a Ton of Cash
The most mysterious of the bunch also happens to be one of the biggest tabs the athletic world has seen to date. Sports Illustrated’s Ben Reiter Tweeted out a photograph of a $189,000 bar tab at Tryst nightclub, which is located in the Wynn. A night out in Vegas at it’s finest, right? The only unfortunate part is that the identity of this brave (and absolutely loaded) soul is unknown, although rampant speculation has narrowed it down to someone in the sports and entertainment world (although there were also rumors swirling that it might have belonged to Drake), with the possibility of it being an UFC fighter.
We might never know who it was, but if it was a UFC fighter this bill alone could convince someone down the road to take up MMA fighting.
3. The Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Line
You knew there was going to be an appearance from some of the biggest eaters in the sporting world. While we’re positive that offensive lineman dinner bills like this have been racked up more than once, this is one of the few that has ever been made public by the men in the trenches. Evan Mathis of the Philadelphia Eagles was the one to share the monumental tab with the world, posting the bill on Twitter with the caption “Teaching the rookies a lesson,” sparking outrage (outrage not seen in the Dez Bryant case, curiously enough) before Mathis cleared the air by saying he had paid the bill himself, and that the lesson was in “fine cuisine” rather than a “welcome to the show” moment.
2. Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins epic Stanley Cup celebration was well documented – one of the first where social media and the Internet was prominent in letting fans vicariously experience the partying that happens after a professional championship through photos and video. The rager went down at a nightclub in Massachusetts, and while the photo of the $156,000 bill is practically awe-inspiring, the photos of various Bruins players (specifically Brad Marchand) either looking absolutely wasted or spraying bottles of champagne are even better (if you aren’t a Canucks fan, of course).
1. Miami Heat – Twice!
Thanks to back-to-back NBA championships in 2012 and 2013, the Miami Heat were able to celebrate with the Larry O’Brien Trophy not one, but twice in the matter of a year. Both times, LeBron, D-Wade and Co. took the party to a nightclub in South Beach. The champions only racked up a $100,000 tab in 2013 at Story – I use the term “only” because a year earlier, after their win against Oklahoma City, the Heat went even harder, racking up a $200,000 tab at LIV, another well-known Miami establishment.
The best part, for the Heat anyway, was the damage it did to their wallets – rather, the damage it didn’t do. The owner of both establishments, David Grutman – who is arguably the king of Miami’s nightlife – took the hit both times, letting the city’s newly crowned champions walk out of his establishment without paying a dime.
Of course, he charged the Mavericks and Cuban in full in 2011. A true fan, Grutman is.
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