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Bears stick Shea McClellin with fake $38K dinner tab

Chicago Bears Practice Olivet Nazarene University. Chicago Bears No.99 SheMcClellin.  August  2 2012. I  Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Chicago Bears Practice at Olivet Nazarene University. Chicago Bears No.99 Shea McClellin. August 2, 2012. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 12, 2012 12:10PM

Bears rookie defensive end Shea McClellin panicked when he was handed a $38,091 bill from Mastro’s Steakhouse on Tuesday night.

“I saw it, and I was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to pay for this.’ I don’t think my debit card can go that high,” McClellin said.

Fortunately for McClellin, the veteran defensive linemen pulled a prank on him, recruiting the restaurant to doctor the bill.

Still, Rookie Night is a longtime tradition for the Bears’ defensive line, and the first-round pick had to foot the tab. While he wouldn’t provide an exact amount, McClellin nodded when asked if the bill was more than $10,000.

“We’re there to have fun. I just tried to block it [out and] not worry about it and have fun,” McClellin said of the most expensive meal he has paid for. “They can eat for sure. It was worth it.”

Restaurant manager Chris Parth wouldn’t provide many details on what the Bears ate and drank (“We don’t get too specific so we can protect their privacy,” he said). But Parth noted that the Australian Wagyu “Tomahawk” steak, which costs $100 a la carte, was popular. The chilled appetizer tower — on an ice display with dry ice — starts at $20 per person and goes up exponentially, depending on how much caviar and lobster is ordered. With 10 defensive linemen on the active roster and a couple of linebackers who tagged along, the bill would jump quickly.

“It’s a good time for us because it’s a good time for them,” Parth said. “They’re celebrities, but we want to make sure everyone is having a good time.

“If we can help pull a prank on the rookies, we’re happy to do it.”

Bears defensive end Israel Idonije posted a photo of the $38,000 bill Tuesday night, although he said Wednesday morning that it was a prank. But Idonije said it’s a tradition that’s important to the veterans.

“It was awesome. We had a lot of laughs. That’s what it’s all about, not about getting in someone’s pocketbooks but connecting with the young guys,” Idonije said.

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