Kangaroo Court: The real story of 'Kitties' in NFL


Kangaroo Court: The real story of 'Kitties' in NFL

A long held sacred tradition in NFL locker rooms was formed to hold guys accountable for their actions, not for any pay for performance as some would suggest concerning Bounty Gate. Better yet, some have reported the IRS should get involved for supplemental income earned, which almost seems comical from my perspective. But when figures such as 50,000 dollars are being reported as potential Kitty sizes in the New Orleans Saints pay for performance scandal, I can see where it could potentially raise some eyebrows. The IRS may want to open branches at every golf course and office space in America that has a final four pool also.

The truth of the matter is, when a player was late for a meeting, he has to pay the kitty. When a player falls asleep in a meeting, pay the pot. When you dont know your assignment at practice, pay up! Now you get the idea. Ive been on some teams where Kangaroo Court fines continued throughout the year where position groups or entire offenses, or defenses go out for dinner paid through self imposed fines by players. Its no different than an office Christmas Party. For tax purposes, that would be listed as a business tax deduction on your return. The fines were not crazy. Five bucks for breaking wind in a meeting where you made your teammates suffer because you were too lazy and disrespectful to get up and leave the room. Some veterans may want to clean up the foul language for the week. You got fined a dollar every time you cussed. That particular fine was not a favorite, but paid the kitty well.

Kangaroo Court was formed to build team accountability and camaraderie. It was not in any way shape or form an incentive program to pay players to purposefully injure another player. Some teams would utilize their self imposed fines during the week by position. For example, the defensive backs would decide the fines accumulated during the week (kitty) would go to the defensive back who made a key interception, or forced fumble. Defensive lineman may decide their kitty goes to the player who registered two sacks. The wide receivers' kitty may go to whoever got the first touchdown or key block springing the running back for a big run. You get the idea. These were by no means astronomical figures as again the 50,000 figure reported in the New Orleans scandal. The figures were more in the 50 to 100 range as most players like former Bear and Washington Redskin player Adam Archuleta has publicly stated. Imagine this concept, some pots are split. What if two receivers make a big block or two defensive backs force fumbles? Its exactly why they are split, which equals less money per player. Ironically, the player cares less about the money and more about making big plays to help his team win.

It was money already taxed and earned by players and players only. Most times players throw kitties awarded back into the pot letting it grow. No player ever wanted to be awarded a kitty after a loss. As a matter of fact, the Court would have never even offered up the kitty after a loss. It was an unspoken rule. So, this is where you get kitties rolling over as has been reported. The importance was always on making big plays to help your team win, not on what you earned from any Court payout! Because again, Kangaroo Court was primarily used for the team dinner traditionally staged separate as an offensive unit or defensive unit. Now that I think about it, 50,000 sounds about right to pay for a quality team dinner. 53 guys, eight practice squad, guys on injured reserve, trainers, equipment room guys, weight room staff. Yep, that sounds about right! Someone should inform the player agents or their CPAs because, thats a business expense on money earned by players and already taxed! Hope they are respectful and leave a good tip, or the court may have to fine them for that!

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots


NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots


Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.