We’ve all been late. Whether it’s a traffic jam, missing the bus, or misreading the military time indication on your plane ticket, none of us are immune to tardiness. But it’s a different story when New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is the one waiting for you to show up.
That’s what happened to former Patriots guard Rich Ohrnberger during his tenure in Foxborough. Now a radio show host, the two-year Pats player from 2009-2010 spilled the details on the drastic measures he took when he was about to be late to practice and get on Bill Belichick’s bad side.
Via The Hartman and Rich O Show:
“I wake up. My phone died overnight and I realized I’m waking up to the sound of chirping birds and not my alarm going off and I am frantic. I don’t even bother looking at the clock. I know I’m late,” said the former Patriots player.
“I get to the road. … I finally look at the clock and it says I’m late already or I’m gonna be. I’m like five minutes to being officially late and I’ve got a 15 minute drive ahead of me. … I have this sinking feeling in my stomach like, ‘I’m gonna get cut.’”
The stakes are a little higher than getting a tardy strike on your school record. Failing to abide by Patriots team rules seriously could have been the difference between having his next paycheck clear or needing to find new employment. That’s why instead of biting the bullet, Ohrnberger decided to get creative.
“I see a church van in front of me that’s all dinged up. It’s got the black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe and I’m like ‘I’m gonna hit this car. I’m gonna rear end this car… because it’s better to pay the insurance or peel off this guy a couple hundred bucks than embarrass myself being late for this Patriots team meeting so I rear end this church man.”
Ohrberger does detail that the “church man” was the nicest old man on the planet and that no real harm was done. He made sure to hand out his insurance details and a few hundred bucks for the damage as well.
That’s certainly a small price to pay to have a legitimate excuse for a peeved Patriots coach.
Ohrberger didn’t last long in New England, spending just two seasons there with a total of five games before played more productive stints with the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers. It’s anybody’s guess if his lack of punctuality played a part in their parting of ways.