A few years ago, Bill Belichick had to pick up a “Well-Served” Patriots player’s bar tab at the Pro Bowl. The whole thing started when Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski suggested an idea to the team’s coaching staff. He said he was going to have a couple of drinks to celebrate earning the Pro Bowl privilege. After the players enjoyed their drinks, they would finish the night with a group of about 10 other Patriots players who had also been voted to the Pro Bowl. They would go to the same location and enjoy more drinks — and more free drinks.

In the first ever Pro Bowl, the Patriots and Seahawks squared off in a game that was between two of the best defensive units in the league. The game played out as a defensive thriller, with both teams shutting down their opponents and scoring more points than their opponents. Despite the defensive battle, the Patriots earned a 17-14 win to win the game.

While most NFL coaches seem like tough customers, Bill Belichick is a class act. Over the course of his career, the New England Patriots bench boss has earned a reputation as a fearless leader who is not afraid to ignore a question or fire a player without hesitation. Before the 2011 Pro Bowl, however, one of his players put that reputation to the test.

Before the 2011 game in Hawaii, Patriots linebacker Matt Light decided to tease young Brandon Meriweather that he could stock his drinks in Belichick’s room. The guard did just that, leading to a potentially embarrassing situation where he literally presented the bill to his boss.

Bill Belichick has a reputation for being a no-nonsense coach, but he also knows how to have fun.

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With his near-constant grin, his worn sweatshirts and his snarky press conferences, Belichick has earned the reputation that he only cares about winning football games and nothing else. While there is usually a grain of truth in public opinion, Coach knows how to have a good time.

As for his reputation, it’s due, at least in part, to the way fans treat football coaches. We see Belichick pacing on the sidelines as if waiting for a traffic cop; we hear him answering reporters’ questions and doing his best not to expose himself. At this point, his behavior is so ingrained in popular culture that an episode of Family Guy focused on his refusal to smile.

Those who really know him say Belichick can work hard and play hard. In college, he was president of a sorority called Animal House by one of his classmates, after the movie . Tom Brady also explained that you can make a head coach laugh by talking about his interests: Marine, Lacrosse, Lawrence Taylor and Bon Jovi.

The gifted Brandon Meriweather put that reputation to the test in Pro Bowl.

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Among football fans, the Pro Bowl is something of a joke. Given the physical nature of football, it’s hard to make a practice game worthwhile. However, for the players who were invited to participate, the event was a chance to fly to Hawaii and have some fun.

As for fun, Patriots quarterback Brandon Meriweather had that.

In 2016, Meriweather appeared on a New England radio program and said the players were as drunk as skunks before the Pro Bowl (H/T NBC Sports Boston). After this segment, Matt Light, who played alongside security, called in to tell his own anecdote.

According to the lineman, he told Meriwether, who was new to the Pro Bowl scene, that he could pay for his drinks in Belichick’s hotel room. Light wasn’t sure if his teammate was following him, but then he saw the well-protected guard approaching the coach and his girlfriend with a card in his hand.

It took about four or five hours, Light recalls. I literally saw him walk up to Bill with his check, like a little card with the bill in it, hand it to Coach Belichick and say: Thanks, coach. I appreciate that only he can do that. You can imagine how that conversation went. … And I’ll never forget the way Bill looks at him: What does that mean? But Linda says: Come on, get the bill. Give him a hand, will you? It was the most embarrassing moment I have ever witnessed from a coach.

Light later told the story on the Dan Patrick Show and confirmed that Belichick signed the check and paid the bill.

Bill Belichick has more than enough money to survive and pay the bill

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is on standby. | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Judging by the careers of Light and Meriwether, it seems that this awkward encounter took place in February 2011, during this year’s Pro Bowl. Although Belichick was slightly less wealthy than he is today, paying that bill certainly didn’t hurt his bank account in the long run.

It’s hard to say exactly how much an NFL coach makes, but we can assume Belichick makes a lot of money every year with his resume. For example, when football fans were talking about Urban Meyer’s potential salary, ProFootballTalk posted a tweet stating that the Patriots coach makes about $20 million a year.

Not surprisingly, these revenues increase over time. Celebrity Net Worth estimates Belichick’s net worth at about $60 million. This is more than enough to pay your players’ bills from time to time.

COMPARED TO: Chris Sims got a stomach ache after working for Bill Belichick for a year

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