As former Jets Director of Football Administration Ari Nissim described his job title and duties in Monday’s post, there was one thing he listed that caught my eye: he oversaw football metrics for the team.
We’re seeing a lot more of metrics in football as it spreads from its early beginnings in baseball. I believe people who are interested in a football career can’t pigeon-hole themselves as looking for established NFL jobs only, so I asked Ari where an independent-minded ‘football entrepreneur’ might place his chips. His answer didn’t surprise me.
“I think at this point it’s sports analytics,” he said. “There are many people trying to do it, but that is the avenue that I would look at.”
Also interesting: getting a handle on things such as metrics might be able to get you to a job as general manager, which in the age of fantasy football is most folks’ dream job. Ari has an interesting take on this.
“I think there will be more (Directors of Football Administration) as GMs as they, in many cases, have a better ability to relate to owners and thus come off better in interviews. The role of a football GM has also changed so drastically over time that the ability to multi-task and delegate is paramount, and I believe that many (Directors of Football Administration) have a better base in that from their professional training. With that being said, there are a exponentially more scouts in the NFL, thus sheer numbers and the importance of scouting will always be part of the equation.”
Don’t forget the importance of mentors in the process. I asked Ari who he’d say were the most influential people in his career, and his answer did not surprise me. They were Jimmy Sexton and Mike Tannenbaum.
“Mike was definitely the most helpful as he gave me the opportunity as an intern for the Jets. Jimmy Sexton taught me so much, (and) I have so much respect for him, not only in the business but as a person.”
We’ll talk about the fun parts of being in the football business in Friday’s post.