Tonight is Episode 7 of ‘The Agent’ on the Esquire Network at 10E/9C. Here are a few things of note in tonight’s show.
- I think there’s a perception that all players aspiring to the NFL are guaranteed an equal and fair shot at performing their best. I think this is especially true among today’s players, who often see expensive combine training programs as almost a right. Not true. Not true at all. In fact, in tonight’s episode, we see pro day workouts on the campuses of Washington State, Cincinnati, Grambling, Houston and Massachusetts. Only two of these schools have indoor practice facilities, and one school’s workout area is practically underwater, prompting an agent to claim it’s “unfair,” and maybe it is. Well, scouts don’t care about fairness. They’re trying to get confirmed numbers on literally thousands of players in a short time frame, and if one school doesn’t have optimal conditions, well, it’s on to the next one. That may not be fair, but it’s reality. A lot of players lose this perspective along the way.
- Here’s another thing many aspiring agents don’t understand: your client is your boss. Even if you’re in your 50s, have decades in the game, and he’s 21 or 22 years old. This means that even if you pour $10K-$20K into preparing your client for his pro day, if he’s not feeling it that day, and chooses to skip a portion of the workout — that’s it. You can jump and stomp your feet all you want, and hope that he understands that a window is closing that might not open again, but that’s all you can do. As players begin to see their teammates go through the draft process, they start to trust themselves more and their agents less. This is a tough pill for many agents to swallow, and understandably so. You will see a bitter example of this tonight.
- At some point, all agents ask scouts, team executives, and analysts like myself where they see their clients going in the draft. Very often, this is hard news to deliver. Scouts are people, too, and they don’t want to rain on an agent’s parade. Often, a scout will muddy the waters by being vague or just telling an outright ‘white lie.’ In tonight’s episode, I personally have such an experience when I’m interfacing with a longtime agent client who’s also been a friend and supporter for a long time. Fans and people outside the game like to think that the game is made up of cold logic and detached analysis, but you can’t take the human element out of the game. Sometimes that’s good, but other times it’s very hard.
Just four episodes left of the first docu-series to truly show what the agent business is like. Make sure to check out our live-tweet, as well. See you tonight.