When I tell people what I do, they usually think I’m one of two things. Either an agent or a scout. Of course, I’m neither, though even most of the people close to me have trouble explaining just what it is I do. But the point is, most laymen think of all football-related off-field jobs as fitting into one of these two categories.
I guess that’s fair enough. Ever since the movie ‘Jerry Maguire’ came out in 1996, the job of football agent has become almost mythical. Every year, people register to take the agent exam in January, then travel to Washington, D.C., at the end of July to take it, and all the while know very little about the business except that they want to be part of it. I’ve talked to people who are bartenders; who don’t even live in the United States; and who want to use the business as a means to managing pro wrestlers. The expenses of being an agent, the difficulty of contacting young athletes, the hoops that schools make you jump through to sign these young men are all alien to them. Still, they have a singular focus, one that perhaps you share. It’s hard to question their passion, of course, but I wonder if they’ve done the proper research.
Then there’s scouting. Most people think of NFL scouting as fantasy football on the atomic level. Many football enthusiasts see scouts as part king-maker, part guru. These men are paid to watch and talk about football, and hold the deepest, darkest secrets of the young men who fascinate the American public on Saturdays and Sundays in the fall. I used to subscribe to this belief, too, before I began to understand all the nuances of the game, and where scouts fit into the puzzle. We’ll go into depth on both the agent and scouting fields as we go forward.
However, there are other paths into the game that are worth pursuing. The business of combine preparation has seen major growth in the last decade, and there are new facilities diving into combine prep almost every day. Very often these jobs can be parlayed into positions with major schools. High school coaching may not have the glamor of negotiating contracts or making picks on draft day, but it’s not an uncommon first step for those interested in scouting. What’s more, good coaches in Texas at the Class 5A and 6A level can make $100,000/year. If you’re more of an entrepreneurial sort, you can launch your own website. That’s one more possible path to NFL scouting (or, if you’re open to working in other leagues, even CFL scouting for Russ Lande and John Murphy). The key is to have a strategy, work a plan, and set goals.
Speaking of goals, our goal in launching this blog is to help you find your path to the football profession. We’ll start by going into greater depth on the ‘glamor’ fields of football, the agent business and the job of being a scout for an NFL team. We’ll talk about the sacrifices that must be made and the odds you’ll face, as well as the rewards at the end of the rainbow for those who succeed. We’ll also develop the other professions that have gained traction as cottage industries, talking to people who’ve had success with it. We’ve been blessed to build relationships with people of all stripes who’ve ‘made it’ in football, and we’re eager to pass along what we’ve learned, as well as what they’ve learned.
We’re happy you’ve joined us, and we hope you’ll tell a friend who’s also interested in succeeding in football about us. Happy weekend. See you Monday.