The Chicago Bears' Rookie Quarterback Still Drives a 1997 Toyota Camry
Mitchell Trubisky is headed towards a $29 million contract, but he hasn't given up his grandmother's old car.
You don't need to hunt down an old episode of MTV's Cribs to know that professional athletes usually spend at least a few of their millions on some seriously cool cars—the evidence is everywhere these days. That's why it was a nice surprise to watch an NFL rookie pull up to training camp this week in the same old beater he's driven since college: the beige-tastic, 170,000-mile 1997 Toyota Camry given to new Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky by his dear old grandmother. It's a study in perception that a car incapable of turning heads in a dorm lot is now the star of the show.
Trubisky's modest whip first caught the attention of Bears general manager Ryan Pace when the college senior drove it to a earlier meeting with team executives before the draft. According to Pace, everyone was walking back to their cars after dinner when Trubisky started laughing about the...let's call it a "quality gap"...between his ride and theirs.
"There's some hubcaps that are missing, and the thing is kind of just falling apart, and we joked at that moment like, 'Hey, you need to bring this car to Chicago, don't change.' And he's like, 'I don't know if it's going to make it to Chicago,' so I said, 'I don't care if you have to change the engine but you've got to keep the shell,'" Pace told ESPN on draft night.
Sure enough, the Bears ended up drafting Trubisky in the first round, so this week, he kept up his end of the deal by rolling up to rookie camp in Illinois in the 20-year-old Toyota. For his part, the imminence of wealth beyond the wildest dreams of many hasn't really changed his appreciation for the car.
"It can still lug around a little bit. It moves pretty well. Gets me from Point A to Point B and yeah, that's what I drive," he told ESPN.
A couple of years ago, then-Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris made headlines for refusing to part ways with his 1991 Mazda 626 that he bought for $2 before making it to the NFL, and Mazda rewarded his dedication with a full restoration job. No word on whether Toyota will make a similar offer here, but it seems like Trubisky wouldn't turn down 20 more years of beige glory.
"I'm a very simple person," he said to CBS. "That's who I've always been, that's how I was raised, to be conservative and stick to who I am. That's who I’m going to be."