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Chargers Notebook: Hint to Merriman: Put aside some dinner dough

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    <strong>August 6, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/08/06/sports/professional/chargers/22_46_138_5_05.txt">North County Times</a>

    SAN DIEGO ---- Linebacker Shawne Merriman should put aside a chunk of his $9 million in guaranteed salary. The night is drawing near when he'll dig deep into his pockets.

    It's a Chargers tradition that dates to at least the Air Coryell era: The year's top draft pick must treat the veterans to dinner.

    Former linebacker Billy Ray Smith once recalled picking up the extensive tab, then picking up a cab back to camp. Not only did Dan Fouts and friends stick him with the dinner bill, they added to his financial hit by leaving him at the restaurant and making him late for curfew.

    Another time, Junior Seau got a hold of Ryan Leaf's credit card. That eventually led to a whining Leaf going to the office of then-general manager Bobby Beathard, crying about the charges Seau ran up.

    Last year, a swank La Jolla steakhouse closed early to welcome about 30 Chargers, with one opening his checkbook: Philip Rivers.

    "It's hard to have a real good time because all you are wondering is what the check will say at the end," Rivers said.

    When it came, Rivers swallowed hard ---- and not because some filet mignon was stuck in his throat. The tally came to right around $25,000.

    "It was a great night," linebacker Steve Foley said.

    For some, anyway.

    "It kind of gives you an uneasy feeling a little bit, because you're spending all that money and you know a lot of it is going to waste," Rivers said. "But it gets the team together in an environment where it's just you guys and everyone has a good time."

    Merriman's time is fast approaching.

    "It's coming sooner or later," Merriman said. "But I'd rather get my head shaved, to be honest."

    Added Rivers: "My advice to him is just write the check and forget about it."

    Smiling Schottenheimer

    Even coach Marty Schottenheimer grinned about his charges' showing in Friday's demanding morning session.

    "I was very pleased with our work," he said. "I think as we continue to do the things we are capable of and work together the way we have shown, we are going to be a pretty good football team. There is a chemistry, I think, being formed. They enjoy one another and enjoy working with one another."

    Quick hits

    Today marks the Chargers' annual FanFest at 1 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium. Fans can watch practice and participate in numerous football-related activities. There is no admission charge and hot dogs are $1. Gates open at noon. ... Among those not working Friday were TE Ryan Krause (foot); WR Malcom Floyd (calf), LBs Ben Leber (ankle) and Marques Harris (back); and OL Courtney VanBuren (knee). ... Unsigned Pro Bowl TE Antonio Gates has missed 14 practices.

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