LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The expression on the face of Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Tyler Scott said it all.
How am I going to pay for this?
Scott was looking at a restaurant bill for $20,501.81, and he wasn’t happy about it.
But there was more to the story.
Wide receiver DJ Moore organized the dinner for his position group on the team’s night off last Friday before Chicago’s second preseason game in Indianapolis.
First-year players were going to pick up the tab at Tony’s in downtown Indy, but Scott, a fourth-round pick from Cincinnati, is the only rookie receiver on the Bears roster.
Scott thought he knew what to expect. After he was drafted, the receiver crafted a budget with his financial advisor, who knew of the rookie dinner tradition and had set aside a portion of Scott’s earnings for the wide receiver to take out his teammates.
Scott was initially planning to hang back at the team hotel and told Moore to take his credit card and keep the bill under $5,000. For 10 receivers (excluding himself) and two quarterbacks — Justin Fields and PJ Walker tagged along — Scott thought for sure he’d stay within budget.
Yeah yeah, y’all boys got me last night with the prank 😂 love my unit though ! 🖤 pic.twitter.com/gtvSYORN8T
— Tyler Scott (@TheTylerScott) August 19, 2023
Daurice Fountain, Scott’s teammate, sent a text around 5 p.m. urging him to come along.
“I’m like, ‘Hey man, trust me. It’s going to be fun,’” Fountain recalled.
Scott did the math in his head as he and his teammates ordered. Two steaks here, a couple appetizers there, three bottles of red wine, a salmon entrée for himself.
Then came time to pay the bill.
“Once I saw Chase [Claypool] get the bill and go ‘oh, it’s not that bad,’ I knew it was bad,” Scott said.
The laughs were abundant from his teammates as Scott looked at the bill. He couldn’t figure out how they had spent that much.
“I was like, all the bridges are burned, I’m not talking to every single person in this vicinity,” Scott said with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘I’m not talking to any of you guys for the rest of the year. I don’t care if it’s going to be miserable for me, I’m not talking to any of y’all.’”
Little did he know Moore had planned everything, and the restaurant was in on the prank.
“They told the restaurant people to boost the bill up,” wide receiver Darnell Mooney said. “I don’t think Tyler knew that they had paid the bill already. We were like, ‘Yeah, we just gonna dine and dash. C’mon let’s get outta here.’ He had no idea. He was like, ‘Nah, I gotta pay, man.’”
As his teammates filed out of their private section of the restaurant, Scott reluctantly threw his credit card down and attempted to pay the tab. He was confused when the waiter told him he was free to go without having run his card.
It wasn’t until he got back on the bus with his teammates to go to the hotel that he learned it was a prank. Moore had picked up the entire tab and everyone knew about it ahead of time.
Everyone except the rookie who got pranked.