Nate Burleson’s Pizza Incident: How Was Pizza Involved in His Car Accident?

Nate Burleson


In 2013, Nate Burleson crashed his car into median on the highway due to a pizza-related incident that went viral. Per SB Nation, Burleson was reaching to the passenger side of the car to keep a box of pizza from sliding off when he lost control of the car and broke his arm.

Though Burleson sustained a broken arm and was sidelined with the injury for a month,  he didn’t lose his sense of humor. Burleson posted a series of photos to Instagram and Facebook, including a picture of his totaled car, a picture of the box of pizza, and a picture of a few half-eaten pieces of pepperoni pizza.

Burleson wrote, “I’m releasing these pix for 2 reasons: 1) I walked away from a totalled vehicle #Blessed 2) I have to hear all the pizza jokes…lol I’ll start-Yes I am the 5th Ninja Turtle. #LovePizza#LetTheJokesBegin”

Here’s what you need to know:

Burleson Was Sidelined for Over a Month Following Injuries Sustained from the Accident

Following the accident, which occurred after Burleson and teammate Stephen Tulloch took part in a promotional appearance at Happy’s Pizza & Pub in West Bloomfield, MI, the Detroit Lions confirmed that Burleson would be out until November. Burleson had to undergo surgery for his arm.

According to Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw, via ESPN, “It was actually a whole pizza. He had purchased two whole pizzas, and one was sitting on top of the other one, and I guess when he was driving one of them was slipping off, and he was reaching over to push it back onto the seat and overcorrected and hit the median wall.”

Still, Burleson maintained a lighthearted spirit about the whole thing, saying to reporters, “I might as well do a commercial. Pizza so good, it’ll make you crash your car.”

During another interview, Burleson said of the incident, “It’s a lesson learned,” Burleson said during the interview with Dery. “I’m definitely not going to be multitasking while I’m driving … it’s just not worth it.”

Burleson Was Gifted a Year’s Worth of DiGiorno’s Pizza After the Incident

Following Burleson’s pizza wreck, DiGiorno gifted the Lions player with a year’s worth of free pizza, capitalizing on the “It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno” tagline that the company has become famous for.

Burleson posted a photo of the gift, writing, “Huge S/O to Digiorno Pizza for the year supply of free pizza and the gifts!  #ItsNotDeliveryItsDiGiorno#NoMoreLateNightPizzaRuns”

Burleson will be one of the analysts covering the Super Bowl 53 pregame show. Burleson had nothing but good words to say for the New England Patriots leading up to the big day.

In a call with The San Francisco Chronicle in the week leading up to the game, Burleson said, “Later in the season, I think we all kind of thought that the Pittsburgh Steelers were surging and this may not be the Patriots year. Then they get into the playoffs and remind us just how great they are. Going into this game, the storylines have been different. Even though the result is the same, with us seeing them in the Super Bowl for the ninth time.”


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