This time of year is absolutely crazy for the people I work with. Here’s one illustration.

I have one client who’s literally been an ITL client since before he was an agent, sometime in the mid-’00s. We’ve come to be pretty good friends, and he’s one of my biggest supporters, regularly encouraging me and pitching me on ideas (many of them good ones) regarding my services. It’s been pretty rewarding to see his rise through the business, as he had his first top-100 pick last year, and feel like I’ve played some small role in it. I know we’re friends, one of my closer friends in the business, and will be for a long time.

All that said, twice in the last 4-5 years, this friend has lashed out at me in latter December, accusing me of helping ‘the enemy.’ He’s as competitive as they come, and it hurts him when he loses, and defeat causes him to ask ‘why?’ In his zeal to answer that question, he’s looked at me. Both times, the players he expressed frustration about were players I barely knew existed. One of them, I literally couldn’t even pronounce his name. Yet my friend was positive I had given someone else (maybe even the player himself) some kind of sensitive information that influenced the young man away from my friend.

I have to admit that I usually don’t react well, and get pretty dismissive out of my own frustration. Of course, it’s not true. I would be a fool to take sides in a business as wild and crazy as sports representation. I depend on all my clients to see me as neutral; if they don’t, ITL is dead in the water.

In a similar vein, I’ve had agents swear up and down that they’ll be signing a player as soon as his season is over, only to find out days later (sometimes even hours later) that they were wrong. That makes you crazy, too.

The point is, if you’re focused on being in this business, whether it’s player evaluation/scouting or player representation, prepare for your sanity to be tested. From about Dec. 1 until you get your client signed to an NFL deal the following summer, your life will be crazy and unsettled. But even at that, there’s no high like having success in football.