When last we left our story, a friend and contract advisor had learned on a Friday night that a recruited player who had just finished his college career, a player the agent thought he’d sign, was now claiming to be a client of another representative.
Obviously, this set off a flurry of attempts to contact the player by the agent. All the texts sent were ignored and all the calls were unanswered, and none of the message left prompted a response. My friend called me that night, and we discussed his options. At this point, my attitude was that there was little my friend could do, and that it seemed the player had made up his mind. The radio appearance, the tweets, and the calls and texts sent with no response confirmed things for me, and I told him this on our conversation late that Friday night. But as I already mentioned, my friend is very persistent and isn’t one to be easily denied.
The next call I got from my friend was mid-morning on the following day, a Saturday, and it was made from the street in front of the player’s house. My friend, frustrated by the player’s refusal to own up to his choice, wasn’t going to go away quietly. Instead, he wanted to get answers, and he’d come to the young man’s home to get them, face to face. Seeing that the player’s car wasn’t there, he decided to wait. I’d admit I didn’t know what to tell him. I was convinced he wasn’t going to do anything rash, and that he was of his right mind. However, I was not confident that he would be satisfied. I urged him to go home and relax, but he was insistent that he would wait.
This is where the story moves from odd to surreal. I don’t know how long he waited outside, but in short order, my friend approached the house and knocked on the door. The player’s parents answered, and though they were surprised to see him, they invited him in. My friend discussed his desire to speak to their son, and they agreed that he owed the agent a response, at the least. They reached out to their son, and as I recall, he indicated that he’d be home soon. They all had one option: to wait.
That left my friend in limbo. How long would the wait be? Should he go back outside or just stick around? Given that he finally had leverage, I guess he decided his best bet was to stay put. With the parents being good hosts, they invited him into the living room, where he sat down. Minutes turned to hours as they waited, and in short order, the father turned on the TV. So my friend and the father of his would-be client spent much of the afternoon watching television and working their phones, trying to find out when the player would arrive. Of course, his communication was inconsistent. But I’m sure his parents’ assurance that the agent was there to stay ultimately convinced him he should come and face the music.
In time, he did that. My friend and the player had a conversation, and while the player said he hadn’t signed yet, it became clear to my friend that he’d lost him. They maintained communications for a couple days but eventually the player went dark, and signed with another contract advisor.
Several years later, I’m still processing this story. I’m not sure I endorse the agent’s behavior, but I admire his unflinching desire to get answers. I do know this: there is no better illustration of the kind of relationship that can develop between a player and an agent over several months.
I also know that my friend didn’t spend a long Saturday on the couch at the player’s house out of spite, or anger, or any other ill-conceived reasons. He simply wanted to get closure on a relationship. I can’t fault him for that.