While we prepare for Hurricane Harvey here in West Houston, here are a few thoughts to wrap the week.

  • The NFLPA sent out results from the 2017 contract advisor exam Thursday. For agents, there’s no better time than draft day when players get to realize their dreams. For me, ‘results day’ is my draft day, because I get to hear from so many newly minted contract advisors. So far, we’ve heard from about 15 people with good news (some of it on Twitter) and a couple with bad. Of course, that’s a fraction of the people who used our resources, but it’s a good sign. Exciting stuff.
  • Speaking of exams, our practice baseball agent exam is up and running. For those people planning to becoming MLBPA-certified, it’s worth a try. And this year, as we debug this thing, it’s FREE! What have you got to lose? All we ask is that you give us fair feedback on how our exam compared to the real one. The test will next be offered Wednesday in New York City.
  • The word ‘enigma’ is thrown around a lot, but the word was really invented with Al Davis in mind. That’s why a book about the former Raiders owner is something I’m really excited about. Al Davis: Behind the Raiders Shield is coming in September, and it’s already getting some positive buzz in major places. It’s co-written by a longtime friend, Jon Kingdon, who got washed out when Davis died and the new regime came in. Jon was Director of College Scouting under Davis, who was not your average owner who makes the big-picture decisions and leaves the details to others. I’m a firm believer that if you know history, you know the future. Reading about Davis, who was such a factor in the AFL merger as well as the key subsequent decisions in the life of the league, should be incredibly insightful.
  • One thing that we’re going to try to focus on more at Inside the League is developing trends, especially as it comes to new technology. With that in mind, I’ve asked my friend Ric Serritella of NFL Draft Bible to help find interesting items to pass along. Not only does Ric have a very thorough eye for talent (he helps assemble the rosters for the College Gridiron Showcase and puts out a widely respected draft guide every year), but he’s also a wizard of video production (he has filmed and produced the last two ITL Combine Seminars for our YouTube channel. In other words, he’s perfectly placed at the intersection of football and hi-tech. One thing he turned me onto this week is the new Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Complex, which will be shared by the Chargers and Rams. Located in Inglewood, Calif., the $2.6M sports entertainment district is scheduled to open in 2020 and spreads over 298-acres (three and a half times the size of Disneyland). Fans will be able to see the action from just about anywhere; it will include 70,000 seats, will be open-air, and will feature an oval-shaped, dual-sided Oculus jumbotron that will stretch 120 yards. The compound will also house 2,500 modern residences, 300 hotel rooms, 890,000 square feet of retail space, 25 acres of public parks and a 6,000-seat performing arts venue. While naming rights have yet to be sold, 125 of the 260 luxury suites have been made available—they include all Chargers and Rams home games, in addition to the right of first refusal to all other events. The LA Sports and Entertainment Complex is scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022 and the opening ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics. To view a virtual tour of what some are calling the eighth wonder of the world, click here.
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