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Breaking News: Millionaire NFL Players Need Further Financial Incentives to Perform Better


But what would bounty systems look like in other sports?

@BreakTheHuddle (E-mail: BreakTheHuddle@gmail.com)

 

News broke yesterday detailing the New Orleans Saints’ system for rewarding defensive players financially for making plays such as interceptions or sacks, but also for injuring opponents, and it set the NFL world ablaze.[i] Bounties have long been a part of the NFL subculture – many teams are alleged to have them. Rumor has it the mistake that brought the Saints down was that there was a paper trail.[ii] But the news got me thinking – what do the bounty systems in other professional sports[iii] look like? Here are my best guesses.

 

NHL

Losing a tooth in a fight – $2,500

Knocking out an opponent’s tooth in a fight (must provide tooth to assistant coach as proof) – $5,000

Starting a fight – $7,500

Subtly blowing sand in the opposing goalie’s eyes – $10,000

Winning a fight – $15,000

Missing fewer than 1 game after a concussion  – $20,000

Severely injuring Alexander Ovechkin – $25,000

MLB

Most home runs in batting practice – $2,500

Getting all your bunts to stay fair in batting practice (pitchers only) – $5,000

Staying awake for all 9 innings (if you aren’t in starting lineup) – $7,500

Stretching a single into a double (under 250 lbs) – $10,000

Stretching a single into a double (over 250 lbs) – $15,000

Make it through a week without going on the disabled list – $20,000

Beaning / injuring A.J. Pierzynski in any way – $25,000

NBA

Adding a visible tattoo – $2,500

Getting a stripper’s phone number (must be verified by assistant coach) – $5,000

Tying the opposing point guard’s shoelaces together during a stoppage in play – $7,500

Alley-oop to self off the backboard – $10,000

Successfully carrying the team stash of chronic through an airport – $15,000[iv]

Employing active listening skills during a timeout (actually listening to the coach – optional) – $20,000

Flagrant foul on Chris Bosh or Kris Humphries – $25,000

NCAA Football

Attending all your classes in a week – $25,000

Making it through the entire season without asking any of the boosters for cash to get a cheerleader an abortion – $50,000

Having an arrest-free month -$75,000

Completing a semester academically eligible – $100,000

Signing with a top university – $120,000-$180,000[v]

Scoring a touchdown in national title game – $200,000

Injuring arch-rival’s quarterback – $250,000

 

Man, I wish I could go back in time, try really hard at football in high school (and take a lot of steroids), and play at the collegiate level. I’d be financially set right now. If you think I’m exaggerating, just think – Shaquille O’Neal made more money at LSU than he did in the NBA.[vi]

As implied in the headline, the real shame of the bounty system is not that it occurred, but that coaches felt it was necessary. A man making $1 million, $2 million or $5 million was actually motivated by a $1,500 incentive to knock a guy out of a game?

Maybe I’m looking at it wrong – maybe the poor NFL players were underpaid. That’s it! Sheesh, they’re exploited in college (wink wink) where their amateur status prevented them from making money off their sporting prowess (chuckle chuckle), and then they come into the NFL where slave-driving coaches dangle chump change in front of them as incentive to harm other people. It’s modern slavery, I tell you, modern slavery!

So the next time you’re watching a game, and you see an injury, just know that some poor, exploited player is just trying to feed his family.[vii] That should make the whole thing much more palatable, don’t you think?[viii]


[ii] Stringer Bell would not be happy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKGdhJybmT8

[iii] For the purposes of this article, NCAA Football players are professional athletes.

[iv] This is tripled on road trips to Toronto, because shoot, transporting ganja across international borders has consequences…

[vi] This was one of the shocking revelations made in the 1998 documentary “Baseketball”. That was a documentary, right? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqjNCCgdtQw

[vii] Or have some spare change in his pocket for the strip club.

[viii] From Twitter: “@damienwoody: This ‘bounty’ program happens all around the league…not surprising”
“@damienwoody: The bigger question w/ this ‘bounty’ issue is…..WHO SNITCHED?!?!”

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One Response

  1. I think it’s pretty ironic that the NFL has developped a culture of “winning is everything,” yet this is unacceptable to them. Check out the rest of my thoughts here: http://foultalk.wordpress.com/

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