The world’s sleaziest profession (not what you’re thinking)


OK, a brief Saturday rant:

I am so sick and tired of sports agents not named Jerry Maguire. I’m sick of their faux-righteous indignation, and their ridiculous quotes about “just trying to get a fair deal” and all that crap.

I’m not even talking about Scott Boras here, though I believe there is an 8th circle of hell reserved for him.

I’m talking about men like Alvin Keels, who I’ve only learned about through watching the great HBO series “Hard Knocks” (which, I’m sad to say, has not been as good as usual this year.

I know the Bengals aren’t the most exciting team, but I feel like the producers have focused too much on the star players and coaches, and too little on what I love “Hard Knocks” for: the battles between guys just trying to make the roster. Those are the stories that are really fascinating.)

If you’ve never heard of Keels, no matter. He’s the agent for Andre Smith, the Bengals’ first-round draft pick out of Alabama this year. He’s the No. 6 pick overall, and he’s apparently a terrific offensive line prospect who can really help the woeful Bengals this year.

Smith is still sitting at home, unsigned, while camp winds to an end, and the regular season is set to begin in two weeks.

Why? Well, because Smith (and Keels) want more money. According to reports, the Bengals (who are, traditionally, tighter with their wallets than Al Bundy ever was) have offered a very fair deal, in line with what the picks ahead of Keels are getting.

Smith will be rich if he accepts the Bengals deal; obscenely rich. And he’s proven exactly nothing in the NFL so far (and from what I’ve read, he’s a bit of  head case, too), so you would think he’d be quite eager to get his butt into camp and show what he can do.

That’s where Keels comes in. I have no doubt he’s telling Smith to just wait, hang on, we can get more money from the Bengals. That’s what agents do. To hell with proving yourself, to hell with having a productive rookie year (which, given the complexities of offensive line play, will now be next to impossible for Smith); it’s about the money!

In the last episode of “Hard Knocks,” which got me fired up to write this, there’s a scene where a nattily-attired Keels has just come from a negotiating session with the Bengals.

After five hours, apparently, little progress has been made.

“We have some challenges ahead,” Keels said. “Andre really wants to get back on the field; he really wants me to come in and get a deal done. But at the same time, he understands it’s a business, so therefore he’s waiting patiently.”

What crap, Alvin.

You know you’re filling this kid Smith’s head with all kinds of figures he’ll never get from Cincy. Of course, if he really wanted to be in camp, he’d tell you to just sign a deal so he can play. But these are young, impressionable 21-year-olds who are trusting you, and right now, you’re ensuring he’ll waste his rookie year in the NFL.

I hate it, hate it, hate it. But this is what agents do; they play with kids lives while trying to squeeze every single penny from teams. I’m not defending the NFL teams completely, but come on, you’re a rookie! Get into camp and show what you can do!

Smart agents should do what’s best for their clients. Sleazy clients seem to only be looking to make headlines and do what’s best for themselves.

Which category is Alvin Keels in?

UPDATE: See, Alvin was listening to me instead of those chipmunks he’s always hanging around with (ba-da-bum). Andre Smith signed with the Bengals on Sunday for four years and 21 million, guaranteed, that could escalate into six years, 42 million.

Now just idiot prima donna Michael Crabtree of the 49ers is unsigned.

Now, for a palatte-cleanser:

4 responses to “The world’s sleaziest profession (not what you’re thinking)

  1. sorry, but your anger is misdirected. The agent represents the player. If the player likes the deal, then he can take it. The player is an adult. If he’s that easily manipulated, then he’s the pushover.

    And though it’s popular to make him a scapegoat, same goes for Boras. The agent’s job is not to protect the sanctity of the sport. It’s to get the best deal he can for his client.

  2. I’m enjoying this season of “Hard Knocks”. Sure, other seasons may have been better, but it’s always great entertainment. Ochocinco has been hysterical & you can’t beat the scenes when the players now that someone is about to be cut as they file past The Turk on the way to practice. Great stuff & certainly better than any other dreck that networks pass off as entertainment in the summer.

    • Matt,
      I agree, Ochocinco has been worth watching the show, totally. I loved seeing him get a pedicure and all that stuff, and Tank Johnson building a bedroom set? Hilarious.
      I’m just saying, I like seeing and hearing about the no-name guys, the 7th round picks out of Valdosta State or somewhere, as they chase their dream.

  3. Those stories have definitely been lacking. I love rooting for those guys.

    It also seems the show has a shorter run this year, even though I’m sure it’s the same every year.

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