Ever been to a Cheesecake Factory? It features ornate designs on the inside, much too fancy for a place with a name like “Cheesecake Factory.” It has a menu so long it makes Infinite Jest look like a pamphlet. And it features insanely large portions — you can complete your tax return in the time it takes to finish an order of their fettuccine alfredo.
For these reasons, many people flock there regularly for the big plates and wealth of options. One person who found themselves in that camp was former NFL quarterback from the Tennessee Titans, Vince Young. But if you’ve ever visited a Cheesecake Factory and enjoyed it, multiply the enthusiasm you felt by a million to understand how much Young liked the place.
Here’s the story of how Young’s obsession with the Cheesecake Factory cost him dearly — to the tune of $5,000 a week at one point.
NFL and college career overview
Vince Young didn’t have a great pro career, but he will go down as one of the greatest college football players of all time. At the University of Texas, he led the Longhorns over the juggernaut USC Trojans in one of the great college football games of all time: the 2006 Rose Bowl.
Who can forget Young’s iconic fourth-and-five scamper late in the fourth quarter? One look at that run and Young seemed like a sure-bet for Canton one day.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. The Titans drafted Young, and though he was put in place to be their franchise quarterback, he never quite lived up to his earlier promise. He got an opportunity as a backup in Philadelphia, but after that was out of football.
The unfortunate love affair between Vince Young and Cheesecake Factory
When many players sign their first contract, they like to splurge. Some buy houses for family. Others buy nice cars. Young spent a lot of money early in his career, but one of his most perplexing choices was to spend untold thousands at Cheesecake Factory.
Clay Travis reported that during his rookie season, Young spent $5,000 a week at Cheesecake Factory. Before you hurt your brain trying to wrap your head around the math of one man consuming enough to necessitate spending $5,000 weekly in one restaurant, know this: Young often took his teammates there and picked up the check. He was at least magnanimous if not fiscally responsible.
Young’s habit of visiting the restaurant got so bad, he one time spent $15,000 on a single outing there. Reportedly teammates drank countless shots of expensive cognac, but any way you slice it that’s a lot of appetizers and entrees to order.
What else did Vince Young spend his rookie deal money on?
As unusual as it is to drop that much on a chain restaurant, give Young some credit. There are some much more destructive purchases one can make. Travis reported that Young made some other crazy buys as well, including:
- 120 out of 130 seats on an airplane.
- $600 shots of Louis XIII at a downtown Nashville Morton’s Steakhouse.
- $6,000 on a (one-time) meal at T.G.I. Friday’s.
This spending, unfortunately, led to debt problems. Young also sadly developed substance abuse issues with alcohol. There’s a somewhat happy ending to the story, however: in a piece for the Player’s Tribune published in February of this year, Young wrote about his struggles.
He also wrote about losing his father and the impact that had on him. But he’s since been to rehab and it appears as though he’s getting his act together.
Young made some mistakes but it’s good to hear he’s turning it around. No one could begrudge him a slice of cheesecake this time around — though he’ll probably want to keep the tab reasonable this time.