Rich Ohrnberger was late for a team meeting.
So the former Patriots offensive lineman intentionally got into a car accident.
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On his San Diego-based radio show, “Hartman and Rich,” the NFL veteran told a wild story Thursday about how he slept through his alarm one morning and desperately needed to come up with a justification for his tardiness.
“My phone died overnight,” he said. “I realize I’m waking up to the sound of chirping birds and my alarm not going off. I am frantic. I don’t even bother looking at the clock. I know I’m late. I know I’m late.”
That’s a dreaded feeling with which many people can relate. But Ohrnberger was in a unique position, given the precarious nature of NFL careers. One mistake can lead to a lost opportunity, especially for a fourth-round pick trying to make the team.
“I have this sinking feeling in my stomach like, ‘I’m going to get cut. [Bill Belichick] is not going to have me on this football team come tomorrow. What do I do?,’” said Ohrnberger.
His question was answered from above. Ohrnberger says he saw a battered-looking church van in front of him, and decided to (lightly) ram into it.
“I’m just like, ‘I’m gonna hit this car. I’m gonna rear end this car. I’m gonna hit this car, because it’s better to pay the insurance or peel off this guy a couple hundred bucks than embarrassing myself being late for this Patriots team meeting,’” he said.
Fortunately, the nearly 100-year-old driver (according to Ohrnberger) wasn’t harmed, and he kept his spot on the team. Ohrnberger wound up playing three seasons with the Patriots.
No word on whether he took out any more cars on his drives to Gillette.