Are you ready for some pigskin? When the New England Patriots meet the Denver Broncos on Jan. 24 for the AFC championship, you better believe the walking vegetable that is Tom Brady will be bringing his all against arch-nemesis Peyton Manning. But going into games that consequential, with everything on the line, it’s not uncommon for teams to blow off a little steam with a well planned prank. What’s the best way to goad a millionaire superstar? Mess with his wheels. It’s also the quickest way to see who’s a good sport and who’s left their sense of humor back in the locker room. Below, some of our favorite athlete car hijinx.
Filling Tom Brady’s Lexus With Styrofoam Peanuts
Erstwhile Patriots’ tackle Matt Light’s personality was very much in line with his surname. Dude liked to keep it breezy and fun around the locker room. There was the time Light stripped then-backup QB Matt Cassel’s car of all wheels, placing two in his locker, as a “teaser, like, ‘Hey, there may be a problem,’” Light laughed to Comcast SportsNet.
Light can also tell you precisely how many industrial packing peanuts it takes to fill a Lexus LS600h—three bags—because that’s how many it took to stuff Brady’s ride to the brim. “We couldn’t get one more peanut in there,” Light recounts. Proud of his work, Light waited for Brady to stumble on his packed sedan and crack up. But grumpy Brady wasn’t amused in the least. He didn’t even clean out the car, instead making stadium staffers pick every piece out for him. When Light saw that, “I was like ‘Aww, man. C’mon.’” Seriously.
St. Louis Rams’ Chris Long Hiding Teammates’ Cars
Rams’ defensive end Chris Long doesn’t miss an opportunity to elicit a chuckle, even if it’s just being a weirdo on the local news while buying a Powerball ticket. Two years ago, he purloined a a few of his coworkers’ cars, including safety Rodney McLeod and defensive back Janoris Jenkins, during a practice session, had them moved across the street from the field and hired a crew of contractors to build garages around the whips, complete with little mailboxes, Christmas lights and windows. The structures were locked, forcing the men to break in after they emerged from practice, exhausted.
Pro Drifter Leona Chin Terrifies Driving Instructors
Malaysian drift champ Leona Chin has some serious skills behind the wheel. As a member of the fairer sex, she’s used to people assuming she’s a bit daft in the driver’s seat. Eager to prove them wrong, she swapped her usual fire suit for a Spongebob Squarepants dress, donned glasses and pigtails, stripped her kitted Nissan Silvia S15 of all logos and stuffed a ginormous teddy bear in the back seat. Her next stop was a driving school where she told newbie instructors that it was her brother’s car and she was just there to learn. To sell her character’s ineptness, she stalls a few times and puts on the wipers instead of a turn signal before unleashing all hell on the unsuspecting marks. Our favorite is the woman teacher who just grabs the seat belt and screams for her life.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Nike Cover Quaresma’s Car in Foil
There are too many official hashtags and Nike social media accounts for this prank to be the brainchild of Portuguese soccer phenom Ronaldo. In fact, it’s highly unlikely the crack even did the bulk of the dirty work himself, but there is a video (on Nike’s Snapchat) where Ronaldo was shown applying tinfoil to fellow Portugal national teammate Ricardo Quaresma’s ride (which is… a Chrysler Crossfire? What the hell is under there?) before spray-painting it to look like Ronaldo’s cleats. There was some lighthearted banter between the two stars on various feeds, peppered with marketing messages. Here’s hoping Quaresma got enough loot from this endeavor to buy something better than a Crossfire.
Golden State Warriors Haze Festus Ezeli and His Poor Merc
When he was a newbie to the Warriors squad, the veterans had Ezeli’s Mercedes-Benz S550 put on stands and removed the wheels during a practice session. They hid the wheels all over the stadium, sending Ezeli on a scavenger hunt. The Nigerian took to social media to express his displeasure, though he did throw a “lol” in there, so he couldn’t have been terribly upset.
Dion Waiters’ Escalade Was Filled With Popcorn
Waiters is now with the Oklahoma Thunder, but when the guard was a rookie back in Cleveland, his fellow Cavaliers decided his Cadillac Escalade was missing a little something. Actually, tens of thousands of little somethings: popcorn. They flooded his white chariot with the buttery, fluffy stuff. Despite being overwhelmed and angry, Waiters seemed to take it stride, posting it on his Instagram, noting that it’s worse in person. We believe that.
Greg Jennings’ Payback to James Jones’ Chevy
Jennings is now with Miami, but when he was at Green Bay, he and fellow Packer James Jones had a bit of a prank war going. Jones first filled Jennings’ car with packing peanuts (this makes far more sense when you’re actually playing for the Packers), so when it came time to retaliate, Jennings went in. Deep. He had the tires yanked off Jones’ Chevy Avalanche, then placed the rig on blocks before filling the interior with Silly String. The unassuming Jones didn’t know that right away, though, since the windows were then covered with puffy paint.