“I’m Gonna Hit This Car, I’m Gonna Rear-End This Car” | Ex-Patriots Player Recounts Causing A Car Accident To Avoid Being Cut By Bill Belichick For Being Late

Ever since Bill Belichick became the head coach of the New England Patriots we’ve heard about the “Patriots Way.” It’s how Belichick runs his team day in and day out. While Belichick is adamant that he doesn’t use or never coined the phrase, most consider it to be about the team’s culture, which embodies accountability, winning, and a team-first ethos.

That’s a main ingredient to the team’s success over the last 20-plus seasons, winning six Super Bowls. Everyone can’t play for the Patriots because Bill runs his team with an iron fist and things like oversleeping and being late are frowned upon. The consequences for such an offense may be dire. 

That very situation happened to former Patriots player Rich Ohrnberger. The former Penn State offensive lineman played the 2009 and 2010 seasons in Foxborough and admits to causing a car wreck to avoid being cut by Belichick for being late.

During a recent episode of “The Hartman and Rich O Show” on XTRA 1360 in San Diego, Ohrnberger had this to say.

“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 just know I’m late.

“So I grab everything I need to, I mean, I’m completely unkempt. I throw myself in the car in the garage, back out as fast as I can and get to the road and I don’t want to speed, I don’t want to get a ticket because that’s only going to exacerbate things. So, I’m stopping at every stop sign, but I’m hustling, I’m trying to get there.”

 Ohrnberger continued:

“I finally look at the clock on my … I’m driving a Chevy Tahoe and it says I’m late already, or I’m going to be. I’m like 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.

“So, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, what do I do?’ And I have this sinking feeling in my stomach like, I’m gonna get cut, like he’s not gonna have me on this football team come tomorrow. What do I do?”

 

 Ohrnberger Does The Unthinkable: Caused Car Wreck

Knowing he’d be late, the bruising offensive lineman decided to cause a car wreck. Yep, Ohrnberger slammed his Tahoe into an old church van, deciding he’d rather deal with the insurance company than the wrath of Belichick.

“And I’m cruising down this slight sloping hill that brings you to the first traffic light that I have to go right on to get to the stadium for the morning meeting,” the lineman recalls. “And I see a church van in front of me that’s all dinged up and it’s got 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. I’m going to hit 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 a Patriots team meeting.”

The Patriots win a lot, but they’re the real definition of what the NFL (No Fun League), has long strived for. And Belichick is their curmudgeonly leader.

That Day May Have Saved His Career

While Ohrnberger admits his position coach didn’t believe his story at first, he had no choice but to buy the excuse because an accident actually occurred. That was the linchpin to him playing two seasons in Foxborough, and five overall. Ohrnberger is now an in-game analyst for San Diego State Aztecs football and NBC San Diego, and it’s highly doubtful he’s late to work anymore.