With training camps firing up, it's time to get all the NFL silly season business out of the way. This will go a long way toward putting to rest one of the dumber stories consuming New Orleans and the larger football world over the last few days—confirmation that Drew Brees did not leave a four percent tip for Chinese food.
On Sunday, The Dirty posted a receipt from the Del Mar Rendezvous, a restaurant in California near Brees's home. It's dated July 9, and appears to show Brees leaving a $3 tip on a $74.41 order. "Check out what a cheap ass New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is," The Dirty's tipster wrote.
Things exploded, because the internet loves nothing more than a "celebrity leaves a small tip" story. (Or more precisely, arguing in the comments over the rules for tipping. And without fail, at least a dozen people will quote Reservoir Dogs.) Saints message boards called for the server's head. A New Orleans magazine used it as a jumping-off point for a 2,000-word piece on restaurant wages.
The owner of the restaurant tried to quiet things down, posting a lengthy statement apologizing to Brees, announcing a donation to his charity, and refusing to say whether the receipt was real or photoshopped. But—and this is the important part—if it were real, the lack of a table number on the receipt would indicate that the customer ordered take-out.
And that's exactly what Brees says it was.
So the internet moved on from crucifying Brees and/or the restaurant, and on to heatedly debating whether take-out orders require a tip.
We will take this opportunity to address the servers of America: don't post the receipts of your athletes or celebrities. It's not worth it. You will get fired, even if you're trying to show how generous they are. And what's the return? A couple of days of mild internet fame? A tepid and fleeting shame for the athlete? (When people see Melky Cabrera, they don't automatically think "that asshole left a 13 percent tip one time.") So just don't do it. Unless you hate your job, which you probably do.