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!