Yes, the agent business is very hard. Yes, we are pretty brutal in our honesty about the way this business runs, and the long odds faced by those who pursue NFLPA certification. I often wonder if I’m a little too direct, and it’s always tough balancing the bad news with the good.

Well, today is a day to balance out the bad. Typically, the players association doesn’t release the results of the exam until mid to late September. However, this year, the news came out Sept. 1. The celebratory tweets started rolling out Thursday afternoon, and soon after, the texts and emails started coming in from the 70-odd people who used our practice exam and/or study guide to prepare.

Obviously, it’s incredibly exciting to help someone achieve a lifetime goal. For me, it’s similar to the high a new agent gets when his first client signs a contract with an NFL team or gets the call that he was drafted. Here’s a sampling.

  • “Thanks a bunch!  Your stuff definitely helped!  Now will probably need to get the list you offer. If you need to use someone or two for promotion, let us know.”
  • “I appreciate all of your help. Wouldn’t have passed without the exam and study guide. I’ll be sure to recommend them to anyone in future. Don’t know what I would have done without you.”
  • “Hey Neil, I passed. Thank you for your help! The practice test paid off a lot!”
  • “Thanks for the help. That test helped big time. Helped understand how the structure of the test was going to be. Can’t thank you enough!
  • “Thanks man. Totally excited beyond words. Now it just comes down to grinding, making connections, and moving with God’s will.”
  • “I just want to let you know that….I passed the exam! Appreciate all your assistance along the way.”
  • “Passed the test… I have a few weeks to make decision on certification which is nice. Test wasn’t difficult at all, felt very confident afterwards and thought I only got 1 question wrong. Seems like the NFLPA did a much better job with the seminar this year than last. A lot of the really difficult test questions were mentioned in the seminar word for word, so if somebody didn’t get them right they just weren’t paying attention. Thanks for the help and the practice test which was very helpful. Appreciate you being a valuable resource for upcoming and current agents who have been getting very little to no support, especially in this SRA dilemma.”

Naturally, the news wasn’t all good. Though it’s early, it looks like results will be a bit better than last year, though not significantly. Based on the first 21 people I’ve spoken to, our success rate is just over 70 percent, right about where we are every year.

For those who came up short, the pain is unbearable, and I share their disappointment. But for today, let’s focus on those who’ll be sinking their teeth into the football business this year.