Ex-Patriot Recalls Taking Shots, Players Getting ‘Dead Drunk’ Before Pro Bowl

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If you don’t take the Pro Bowl seriously, you’re not alone. Even some NFL players view the annual All-Star event as nothing more than an opportunity to let loose.

Former New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather shed some light Wednesday during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” on just how laid-back the Pro Bowl environment can be. Apparently, downing a couple of pregame cocktails is normal for some.

“I went to (my first Pro Bowl after the 2009 season) and some people were like, ‘Look, man. I’m playing dead serious, man. I’m (trying to) win this,’ ” Meriweather said. “And a lot, most players, are like, ‘Man, I’m (trying to) get dead drunk before the game, man.’ They ain’t playing nothing.”

So, which path did Meriweather choose when he was selected to the game, which is notorious for featuring virtually no defense, for the 2009 and 2010 seasons? Well, he dabbled with both strategies, so it depends on which year you’re talking about.

“My first year going, I didn’t know what to expect,” Meriweather said. “The first couple of plays I was in, players were like, ‘Hey, man, chill out. What are you doing, man?’ After that, the next year, I was like, ‘Man, I’m chilling. Ain’t nobody going to be playing hard. I’m chilling.’ ”

Meriweather, who also played for the Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins and New York Giants during his nine-year NFL career, doesn’t suspect his blood alcohol level was too high for his second Pro Bowl, though. As he recalled Wednesday, he only did “a shot or two” before leaving the hotel to go to the game.

“Just something to warm me up before the game,” Meriweather said.

The game was played in Honolulu, Hawaii, mind you.

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