Last week, the Eagles did some eating and drinking, when they racked up a $17,747 tab at Del Frisco's in Philadelphia. Second year player Lane Johnson tweeted out a picture of the tab, with the accompanying text, "Rookie dinner."
Rookie dinner pic.twitter.com/2pCRsC9Al8
— Lane Johnson (@Lanejohnson65) June 7, 2014
Several news outlets (here, here, here, and here, for example) immediately identified Johnson's tweet as rookie hazing, without first bothering to get any context on the dinner. It turns out that Johnson voluntarily treated his fellow Eagles' offensive linemen to dinner.
“It was my idea,” said Johnson. “I wanted to keep the tradition (of rookies taking veterans to dinner) going. I didn’t get a chance to do it last season. Besides, I didn’t pay the whole bill. Some of the other veterans chipped in.”
Johnson said he also was merely returning a favor from last season, when the veterans took the rookies to dinner every Thursday.
Not missing out on an opportunity to mess with the national media further, Evan Mathis tweeted out a picture of yet another tab from Del Frisco's, with the acccompanying text, "Teaching rookies a lesson..."
Teaching rookies a lesson... pic.twitter.com/RGRutiPMiL
— Evan Mathis (@EvanMathis69) June 13, 2014
This time, the bill was in excess of $64,000, and amazingly, the first letter of every item on the tab spells out "ROCK-PAPER-SCISSORS-ROSHAMBO." Several additional media outlets were fooled into thinking that Mathis was serious.
Or was Mathis just kidding?
Philly.com did some investigative journalism, and obtained video of various Eagles hazing incidents over the last decade. Here's Matt Barkley being paddled in July 2013.
Here's Mike McGlynn in a disturbing scene in the dorms at Lehigh University back in 2008.
Here's Riley Cooper and Mike Kafka being chased down by a veteran Eagles ruffian, until they were saved by Kafka's mother. The Eagles' wives even get into the action later in the below clip, hazing other rookie wives out in public in broad daylight.
Mathis, Johnson and guard Todd Herremans were reached for comment.
This national hazing nightmare must stop!
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski