Monday, August 15, 2005

The Fresh New Face of Satan

Scott Boras has been the designated poster boy for the Prince of Darkness for awhile now. Keeping promising young players from starting their careers because they were not millionaires enough times over (see: Weaver, Jared or Drew, Stephen or countless others....). But super-agent scumbag supreme Drew Rosenhaus has now eclipsed Boras as the new 'Satan' is the sports representation business.

Of course there is nothing 'new' about Rosenhaus who has been representing NFL clients for over a decade. Rosenhaus was the inspiration for the character "Bob Sugar" in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire and his loud, aggressive style has provided him with plenty of detractors over the years. Rosenhaus elevated himself to elite status in 2003 when he boldly predicted that Willis McGahee would be a first-round pick despite the fact that he suffered a severe knee injury that required reconstructive surgery at the end of his final college season. But the Buffalo Bills proved Rosenhaus right by taking McGahee with the 23rd overall pick and a new agent ascended to hell's highest throne. Many will defend Rosenhaus, saying that what he did for McGahee and many others is simply good representation. With McGahee I would say, absolutely. He represented his client very well and definitely earned his 3% commission. But with other players like Green Bay's Javon Walker, he does a disservice by advising them to violate their contracts and hold-out. In football more than any other sport this can be devastating. Players who miss training camps are generally not in football shape and one tackle can end a career. This is not the move of someone who is more concerned with is client's well being than feathering his own nest.

Now comes the sorted tale of Terrell Owens. A fiasco that is, by a very long-shot, the sleaziest contract negotiation in modern history. The up-shot of the story is that Owens signed a contract last season with the Eagles (after first demanding a trade from the 49ers and then refusing a trade to the Ravens before finally agreeing to go to the Eagles) that some people thought might have been on the conservative side. Keep in mind, Owens was not a free-agent and in no position to dictate where he played yet somehow he did. So for that option is appeared to those of us watching from the outside that he simply decided to take a bit less and play where he would be happy. All seemed well as the Eagles went to the Super Bowl but Owens was anything but happy. He stewed over being paid less than guys like Randy Moss (another problem child player). In steps Rosehaus who guarantees TO a better contract if he signs with him. TO agrees that he is worth more and signs with Team Rosenhaus to get a new deal done. Rosenhaus advises TO to sit out off-season workouts but does allow him to show-up to training camp. Big mistake. TO is such a mouthpiece that the first thing he does is talk smack about the team's most popular player and their equally popular coach. Who is advising this guy, Rush Limbaugh? Or as Chris Sprow put it in the Chicago Sports Review "From what I can tell, Owens has hired John Rocker LLC for his public relations work." Sprow's best line:
"Owens is like a child trying to get a better allowance who skips the whole cleaning your room routine and decides to show up at his mom's PTA meeting to call her a whore who routinely burns books."

This is just a case of gasoline meeting fire. Inflammatory agent meets ignitable superstar equals scorched Earth campaign. But what is really interesting about this to everyone except Eagles fans is that there does not appear to be a solution anywhere in sight. Last week Philly coach Andy Reid sent Owens home for a week for telling him to "shut up" and telling the team's offensive coordinator that "you do not talk to me unless I talk to you first". I'm guessing that TO is not a student of Dale Carnegie.

Rest easy Angel fans, Rosenhaus does not dabble in baseball yet. Though the Eagles may have learned something from Arte Moreno's dealings with Scott Boras last season. They do not appear to have any intention of giving in and will force Owens to either play for them under the terms of his old contract or not play for anyone this season.


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