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This week, I was in Bedford, Texas, for the College Gridiron Showcase (CGS). Here are three things I thought were worth passing along.

  • There were two people I bumped into this week, David West and Tess Taylor, that were in the Greater Dallas area putting their obsession to work. David was an unpaid intern at the CGS, and Tess, who volunteered with the game last year, is now working at a high-end fashion store, Trunk Club. David spent the week working with scouts — fetching late-arriving players, keeping weigh-ins moving smoothly, helping fill in information gaps — and generally making himself as useful as possible. All of the time, I get asked, ‘how do you become a scout?’ Well, I don’t know if Dave will ever be a scout, but he surely improved his chances this week. Tess, on the other hand, is using the connections she made at last year’s game to build a book of business at Trunk Club, which provides concierge-level service to the apparel industry. Both of them are taking chances and stopping at nothing to bring their dreams to life.
  • I’m privileged to have been asked to speak at the 2016 Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, just outside Los Angeles, in February. In the course of speaking to Evan Brennan, a grad (and highly successful young agent, by the way) who’s helping put the event together, I found out that one of the challenges of putting a panel together is finding people willing to share the dais. He said several agents simply refuse to participate when they find out who else will be providing insights alongside them. I found that amazing, but also a good snapshot of the intensity of this business. The stakes are high. Very high.
  • Already this week, I discussed the possible reduction of fees that contract advisors are facing if NFL player reps pass a measure this spring that caps SRAs at 2 percent (from 3 percent). Most of the agents I dealt with at the CGS this week are early in their careers, and they’re working hard for their clients, covering training fees, and trying to stay afloat without a heavy war chest. When I spoke to them, I figured they’d be so angry about the topic that they’d curse their circumstances and wag their fingers at the new rule they faced. But virtually all of them simply said they’d find a way to adapt. Their resolve remains strong and they are undaunted.

So what’s the common denominator in all three of these examples? Passion. Fire. Intensity. Pressure. High standards and a refusal to quit. It’s the kind of thing that I find really admirable, and the kind of thing you have to have to succeed in this industry. Have a great weekend.