The 5 Greatest NFL Pranks Pulled on Rookies

If you’ve been keeping up with the NFL lately, you probably noticed a story about Chargers rookie linebacker Larry English getting stuck with a $14,000 plus check, after the entire team went out to eat. That’s a nice little bill.

English bill

Pulling a prank on a rookie is nothing new in the NFL. It’s a ritual. Just like T.O. bitching about his QB. Or Tony Romo choking down the stretch. Or Leonard Little getting a DUI.

Whether you want to call it a prank, or a hazing, it’s bound to happen. Usually it only involves a rookie getting his head shaved, or being tied to a goal post or forcing to sing in front of the entire team. Sometimes the pranks are a little more original and fall somewhere between hysterical and mean.

So enjoy the 5 greatest NFL pranks on a rookie with that rasberry sorbet you ordered on Larry English’s tab.

5. Can I Have Your Autograph?


Some of us will never get to know what it feels like to be asked for an autograph. I bet it’s a thrill for a rookie in the NFL. However, it turns out that this was just a prank for QB Kyle Orton in 2005.

Bear’s center Olin Kreutz asked Orton to sign a helmet for his family. The autographed helmet was not for Kreutz’s family. Instead the helmet in question actually belonged to one Kyle Orton, who if you haven’t guessed, had to practice in it.

4. The Bicycle Tree

Bike in a Tree

Even some of the best NFL players need a laugh here and there. Joe Montana was known to put rookie’s bikes in different trees.

It seems a little tacky and harmless, but considering that the practice field was only about a quarter-mile from the housing facility, bikes were the main source of transportation. After a tough day on the field a player would have to fetch his bike from a tree, only to discover that he just got someone else’s bike down.

3. Payback is a Bitch

Car on Blocks

There’s a rule that even non-NFL players know – do what the Vets tell you. I guess OT Chris Colmer didn’t get that message.

In 2005, FB Mike Alstott asked the rookie to get him a Gatorade. Colmer decided to be a wise guy and drew a map to the fridge for Alstott instead. As redemption, Alstott took the wheels off of Colmer’s car and left a map on the windshield to where the tires were.

2. Hey Mom! I Made The Pro-Bowl!

Quentin Groves

Maurice Jones-Drew retold this prank, as what he perceived as a funny joke, about rookie DE Quentin Groves in 2008.

One of the Jags defensive linemen told Groves that he had made the Pro Bowl. A dream come true, right? Groves did the natural thing and called his family, friends, etc. in his excitement. After practice his teammates broke the news that it was just a joke. I would hate to have made that return call.

1. When The Saints Go Hazing


When Ditka coached the Saints back in 1998 he may have let some pranks go a little too far. Not one, but two players, were injured during a hazing incident. On the final night of camp the Vets forced the rookies to run the gauntlet. They were kicked, elbowed and hit with bags filled of coins as they made their way through.

Rookie Tight End Cam Cleeland got smacked in the left eye and had to go to get a CAT scan. He even had to go to an eye specialist to make sure everything was alright. During the same night, rookie DT Jeff Danish put his hand through a window after the gauntlet. Danish went on to sue the Saints, six players and an assistant coach for assault, which was settled out of court.

Leave a Comment

  1. jzsteen says:

    OMG dude the car sitting on blocks is classic ownage! Wow!


  2. ODMarty says:

    Yes, Romo does do a lot of chocking…

  3. char says:

    Only 2 desserts Ala Mode? Raspberry Sorbet?? ADMIN CHARGE???

    Also, Alstott prank was the best by FAR.

  4. TheZach says:

    It’s not nearly as good a prank as these, but Coye Francies of the Browns was drenched in water after practice on Friday. Not very funny, but it got him throwing ice, water, a cooler and even a punch at his teammate. Bad pranks are just one more reason the Browns can be angry with themselves.