If you’re an aspiring football professional, tonight’s a great place for insights into the business side of the game. Here are three things to watch for in Episode 5 of The Agent (10E/9C, Esquire Network):
- The show opens in St. Petersburg, Fla., where the Shrine Game is played. You’ll notice that the field where practices are held is ringed by scouts, coaches, agents, financial planners and others who work in the game. What you probably can’t tell is that the group is very loosely regulated. Almost anyone can walk in there, and as long as they don’t make a spectacle of themselves, have pretty much unfettered access to hundreds of potential NFL employers. I’ve always wondered why more eager young job-seekers don’t take advantage of these games. Not a year goes by that I don’t see dozens of young people hoping to work in football at the combine, because it gets all the press, but rarely at all-star games. Access is way better at all-star games than it is at the combine, which is like a party for invitees only. If you want to win a job in football, you’re going to have to irritate a whole lot of people before you get that one champion who’s willing to take a risk on you. There’s no better place to ‘irritate’ lots of people in one setting than at these games.
- Speaking of jobs, there are three elite training facilities portrayed in tonight’s episode. They are the Pensacola, Fla., location of Exos; Miami-based Bommarito Performance Systems; and Weston, Fla.-based Fit Speed. All are excellent, and all are pretty work-intensive. I’m always hearing from young people who want to find a profession in football, and the default job is always scout or agent. Why not consider the combine prep business? It requires lots of people and has several facets to it, and is still taking shape, with lots of permutations and new applications. A young person who volunteered with a top combine prep facility could very quickly learn the business, identify trends, and quickly make himself very useful/valuable to key people. In fact, I bet one could make the contacts to do almost anything in the business from a combine prep service. Lots of paths cross in the training field, and there are dozens of good training programs that work with players all over the country.
- One more thing to notice: this week’s show takes place in the January/February time frame, two key months in the draft process. Almost the whole show is shot at an all-star game and training facilities, all in Florida. If you are looking for NFL opportunities, you have to go where the football business is, and the Sunshine State is essential to the draft process, for various reasons. If you’re already in the state, you’re in great position to succeed. If you’re not, but you have easy access to the state, take advantage of that. Florida is not only one of the top 2-3 states for football talent, but it’s also got a warm-weather climate that really helps in the months leading up to the draft.
Enjoy the show, and don’t forget to join in during our live-tweet tonight. I’ve got four pages of notes to churn out tonight during the broadcast. Don’t miss it!