Pro athletes make bank during the season (and still do well when not in season), and coaches make even more. As such, there really isn’t much in existence that they don’t already possess. It was for this very reason that the Tampa Bay Bucs’ offensive guard/center Evan Smith decided to do something a little bit different for Christmas this year.
Instead of their traditional annual gift exchange in which players would give other players stuff that they really didn’t need or want, Smith proposed a new tradition: pool the money that they would’ve spent on gifts and give that money to the more unappreciated members of the Bucs’ staff.
“The equipment guys, the trainers, the kitchen staff — coaches get paid a lot of money — like those who help us out on a regular basis, the people who cook special food for us….they spend tons of time with us,” said Smith. “Not all those guys make as much money as people think they do.”
Just before going on Christmas break the team members blasted some holiday music through the locker room speakers and went around giving each staff member an estimated $450-$500! The idea came after Smith realized that their white elephant gift exchange just wasn’t yielding the Christmas cheer that it’s supposed to. “….everyone shows up with a drone. There were like five guys with drones. I’m like, ‘Nobody wants a drone.'”
So instead of watching the cheap or stupid gifts come rolling in, Smith decided to simply have each player combine that money into one of the best Christmas gifts that anyone could ever ask for.