Former Patriots lineman crashed car to avoid Belichick’s wrath

Rich Ohrnberger

Rich Ohrnberger
photo: AP

In the barren wasteland that is sports in August, there are only baseball and speculative NFL stories to write about. And since we just wrote about Aaron Judge and he didn’t hit a dinger Friday night, we’ve got football chatter for you. Today’s anecdote comes from former New England Patriot offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger, who was so concerned about having a valid excuse for oversleeping for practice that he legitimized his car accident cover by actually getting in an accident.

Due to an irrational fear of Bill Belichick, he opted to… well I’ll let him tell it as he did on his radio show.

“I wake up, my phone died overnight, and I realize I’m waking up to the sound of birds chirping and not my alarm going off. I am frantic. I don’t even bother looking at the clock, I know I’m late.”

“I’m five minutes to being officially late, and I’ve got a 15-minute drive ahead of me. I’m gonna be 10 minutes late for this day. I have this sinking feeling in my stomach like, ‘I’m gonna be cut. [Belichick’s] not gonna have me on this football team come tomorrow. What do I do?’”

“I see a church van in front of me that’s all dinged up and it’s got the black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe and I’m like, ‘I’m gonna hit this car. It’s better to pay the insurance than embarrass myself by being late for a Patriots team meeting.”

As someone who has accidentally skidded into an awning while running late to take his little sister to school, I wish I had the resources to intentionally play bumper cars to avoid getting dressed down by my mom let alone the most maniacal coach in the history of the NFL. Belichick seriously must gush clout in Foxborough. His players are not only willing to run through a wall for him; they’ll literally veer into traffic to remain on his roster.

Also, for the people asking about the premiums: Would you rather take a hit on your car insurance bill — or pay for it out of pocket with your ample NFL salary — than lose the respect of sports’ most demanding father? If I was the driver of the St. Stephen’s shuttle, it might be a little jarring to have someone snapping photos of his mistake before I even exit the vehicle, but they believe in Good Samaritans and shit like that.

Honestly, careening into a junker church van wasn’t a bad idea — even if it sounds like a recipe for a lawsuit. Who among us hasn’t made regrettable decisions trying to earn/keep a dream job? I’d cut off a nipple for the right gig. (Don’t fret, my man boobs remain intact. Not lopping off flesh for an industry that’s going to be 95 percent athletes in five years.)

Rich Ohrnberger, if I had stars or some kind of fake accolade to hand out, you’d get one.

And now what I almost wrote about…

Occasionally, ESPN breaks the fourth wall. If you don’t recite lines from the 2004 cult classic “Dodgeball,” you probably don’t get half of my jokes — in addition to having no idea what ESPN the Ocho day is. The Mothership ran a few of the seldom-seen athletic competitions on ESPN 2 on Friday in honor of one of Ben Stiller’s seminal works.

Along with wiffleball, tag, air hockey, and something called quadball, there was the Slippery Stairs world championship.

The first ever Slippery Stairs world championship | ESPN 8: The Ocho

Even if it seems like a knockoff of Wipeout, which was a knockoff of a Japanese game show, I can respect the hustle. It’s at least something to laugh at while eating wings, drinking beer, and trying to formulate a story on your break.

I mean, anything that gives me an opportunity to quote Cotton McKnight, White Goodman, and Co. is fine by me.

“Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine? Probably not. No, but I do it anyway because it’s sterile and I like the taste.”

No, not the quote you were thinking of. Sorry, since I was so overt I thought I’d go with a B-side.

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