No good deed goes unpunished, as New Orleans Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara found out this week. Despite postgame appeals from Kamara and Mark Ingram in their typical shared interview, the NFL is happily playing the part of the Grinch. First-time offenders usually draw a fine of $6,076 for wearing unapproved cleats during a game, though players are free to wear what they choose in pregame warmups. For his wallet’s sake, hopefully Kamara doesn’t make a habit out of this and draws the regular $18,000 fines seen by New York Giants star wideout Odell Beckham Jr.
Kamara wore a pair of ruby-red Adidas cleats into this week’s win over the Atlanta Falcons, which you can see in the tweet embedded below (if it doesn’t show on your device, just follow this link). Kamara didn’t wear all the jingling bells and whistles into the game, but the festive look definitely worked for him - he added 90 yards (32 on the ground, 58 through the air) on 19 touches from scrimmage and returned two kickoffs for 72 yards.
Between Adidas, Airheads candy, and his unique AK41 jersey, the charismatic young Saints sensation is on the fast track to building a strong brand. Making highlight-reel plays, earning a selection to the 2018 Pro Bowl, and potentially winning Rookie of the Year only helps strengthen his case. I for one am thankful Kamara has opened the door for Saints fans to rock the Three Stripes, whereas Matt Ryan has condemned Falcons fans to Banana Republic.
Ideally, Adidas will help cover some of the lost revenue for Kamara after providing the cleats, though he’s joked about crowdsourcing a GoFundMe to pay for the fine and donate any remaining cash to charity. Still, it was a fun gesture and could ultimately end up helping people in need. Now that’s buying into the holiday spirit.