On Monday night, I spent an hour on the phone with a new agent. It was really refreshing.

This agent had lots and lots of questions, and she was clearly taking notes as I discussed the various answers to her questions. There are a lot of people who come into this business thinking they already know the answers. There are still others who’ve spent a little time in the industry and think nothing’s changing. Wow, is that ever wrong. . . .

Here’s an example. There’s a new all-star game added to the slate this year called the College Gridiron Showcase (CGS). This is the fifth game in January and will take place the same week as another game, the Medal of Honor Bowl, which was pretty well-received in its first year (2013). It would be easy to dismiss a new game, and already I’ve gotten lots of questions from clients asking if the CGS is even worth considering. I’m sure lots of agents don’t even know about this new game, and others have already dismissed it as a waste of time. This is where it’s an advantage to stay up to date on the business.

Though the CGS is a new game, the people running it aren’t new. The organizers have spent a great deal of time putting all the pieces in place, and have developed a solid base of sponsors to help give them the resources to do a good job. One of the game’s co-founders is Craig Redd, who’s himself a former NFLPA-certified contract advisor who knows the drill quite well (in addition to being a high-character, standup guy). Among Craig’s smart moves is bringing in John Murphy to run the personnel side of things. In addition to being the Assistant GM of the CFL’s Calgary franchise, John has been involved in more all-star games than I can count. He’s super-familiar with the process and knows what NFL talent looks like.

I haven’t personally checked out the hotel sponsoring the game, but I’m sure it’s more than adequate. They’ve been smart about assembling broadcast partners, and they’ve got a good field for the game. They’ve also been aggressive about reaching out to NFL teams and they’ll have a great group of scouts there. But you might not know that if you don’t read ITL (sorry for the shameless plug), or if you are serious about staying up to date on things.

If you read this blog regularly, you know I feel that you can be successful in the football business, but you must be vigilant about information-gathering to ensure victory. This is just another example of that. Don’t ever presume the learning process has ended and that you know all you need to know.