There’s no other way to put this: Matt Light tricked a drunk Brandon Meriweather into a face-to-face interaction in which he awkwardly and somehow graciously forced his bar tab on a flabberghasted Bill Belichick.
Calling into Toucher & Rich moments after Meriweather revealed that players get "dead drunk" before the Pro Bowl, Light said that he took the opportunity at Meriweather’s first Pro Bowl appearance to pull an unbelievable prank when he saw the then-third-year Pats safety drinking at the hotel with Ray Lewis and other NFL stars.
He told a gullible-enough Meriweather that when a player’s coach is coaching the Pro Bowl, as Belichick was, it was common for the coach to reward his players by paying for them.
“It’s a table full of veterans. All the guys are cutting up, having a good time. This is right around the pool,” Light said.
“[Meriweather]’s kind of the young guy, kind of the odd man out, and he’s not saying much. He’s just laughing, joining in the festivities, and I walked over to him and -- I [had seen] him order a drink from the waitress -- I said, ‘Hey man, you do know that you can put all this on Bill’s room, right?’ Now you’ve got to remember, Belichick and the entire staff were coaching the AFC.'
“Now I go up there saying that just busting his chops. I didn’t really know what was going to happen, but I figured I’d plant that seed. He looks at me and he says, ‘Are you serious?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, man. You don’t ever pay for your drinks when your coach is here coaching.’ I’m like, ‘Come on. Come on, rook.’ So I walk away; I’m not thinking anything of it.”
Light said he and Wes Welker then witnessed the exchanged of a drunk Meriweather thanking a very confused Belichick and Linda Holliday for the gesture.
“Fast forward like four or five hours,” Light said. “I literally witnessed him walk up to Bill with his check, like the little card that has your bill in it, and hand it to coach Belichick and say, ‘Hey, thank you coach. I appreciate you,’ in a way only that he could do it. Like you could imagine what that conversation looked like.
“And I’ll never forget -- Bill’s looking at him like, ‘What are you talking about?’ But Linda’s like, ‘Go ahead, take care of the tab. Help him out, right?’ It was the most uncomfortable awkward moment I’ve ever witnessed with coach.”
Light, who called it “one of the finest moments” of his life, said the best part was Meriweather’s sincerity.
“He was well-served at that point. Man, he was in rare form and when it came up he was like, ‘Aw, coach. You know me. I appreciate you, bruh,’” Light recalled. “It was one of the finest moments of my life.”