To Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott, the thousands of dollars New Orleans Saints players were paid under their bounty system is not all that different from the helmet stickers he got as a 10-year-old.

Extra rewards are as much a part of football as runs and passes.

Lott says that in the pros he "got paid to make big hits," but not to "take away somebody's livelihood." Still, he tells the AP, he isn't surprised that the NFL's investigation found an elaborate bonus pool in New Orleans.

Think of it as an incentive system run amok.

University of Chicago sports economist Allen Sanderson compares it to extra payments in other lines of work, saying the biggest difference is that in the NFL "it involves a little more pain and suffering."