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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Leigh Steinberg

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Perhaps the greatest NFL agent of all time, Leigh Steinberg, joins our huddle. His story was made famous by the Jerry Maguire movie, he continues to pave the way and set the standard for sports agency. He currently represents the league MVP, Patrick Mahomes. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Lees Teinberg Dave is is up this week and I'm freakingreally excited to hear his story, because I think you and I know a littlebit about you- know, stats and the guys he's hadmean you probably can roll off your Tonu is the Pixin he's been part of? Well, I'm pretty sure this is fact, but it'seight number one overall picx in the NFL in about sixty two first round draft bics he's been theagent for just in the NFL. He W represents baseball players and othersports to but well you know, and what's great about it is he's still in the business today. He isone of the greatest players today in the NFL he represents after Ande now hesaid dips and valleys in his career right and he's on the upswing and onhis upswing in his later years, has probably the hottest quarterback in theNFL today right and do you remember who his roommate wasn't called his roommateor I think it was a classmate, maybe note roommate the guy from first hisfirst ever client, Oh Steve, Barkowskyin, orki yeah, I mean Ican't wait to hear that storry about why you know that I think that's how hekind of got it started to be an agent. If that doesn't happen, none of theother stuff may have ever fallen in place well, and I think too, Lees have significant influence onowners, coaches, general managers in the gamesince the earlys. Why? I remember speaking of polls, another pool- and Ican't remember exactly where he fell in it- he was maybe top ten mostinfluential person in the NFL. Maybe e was number four or something it wascrazy is a few owners and maybe him yeah I mean he has just had all the bignames. I mean look at the Super Bowl between the sealers and the cowboys he represented. All six quarterbacks at were on eitherthe roster of the cowboys of the sealers and HEU had to be other playerson the team. TVATHE was like eleven. It was like eleven players, overalle BAE.He basically stood on both sidelines. You know first half on the steelerssecond yeah anwone, you know- and I I think I heard something about who do you go?You know somebody ask him like who do you go see after a game? A big win? Hegoes. I said you go with the guys who want he os. I know I'm Goin to gosupport, my guys, you lost right and that's kind of agent. He is, but I'mreally excited to hear some of the stories from when he was in college. He had his career in college was crazy, crazy, wasn't it UC. He went toestarted UCLA UCLA transferred to cow with student body. President. A cow this is during the lates whenBerkeley was just blown up well, Berken was I mean it was the scene of the sright, that's where everybody went, free, love all that stuff and- and Ithink I think that he brought like he was the guy thatshowed some of the most famous musicians ever around campus. Well,there's one point where, then I don't know how far apart this was, but hegave a tour of the canpus to Jim Warrison and then say a week later,Jimmy Hendrix. So he had like two of the most famous musicians in thehistory: Music Walk Around campus, talking, Oh yeah, and I think tyouother there's like cream. I think somebody else you know that ismentioned in there, but you know Eric Lapp Hin. I think he said Yeah,which he was part of cream yeah, but I mean it's just a great great story. I'mso excited to hear it from start to finish, and I can'tbelieve he is still influential in the NFL and now he's doing things wherehe's bringing he's painted back paint it for it. I guess it it's! What youwould say were he's teaching people his craft he's taching students in college,his craft, that sports networking how to do that? How talk to GMS and ownersand then also heard that he has a book club. It's got a book club and thenalso speaking to giving back his clients have donated over a billiondollars back to charity, which I mean yeah. I'd love to hearother agents versions of that not even clokes, and I mean we're going to findout when Lee comes on about how much actually his clients have made so staytuned. LISTEN TO HOTTL UP WITH GUS LEEAST tinbergs next Dave today in the Hulle with us, is LeeSteinberg. Just super well known agent, that...

...kind of revolutionized the industry andand really took what players are looking for in anagent to a new level. I think and Lee. It is so good to have you with us todayand we really appreciate you being part of Hutdo up with Gus t', my pleasure sole what we really like to start with is when you were little. who was thatperson or what was that spark for you that got your interests in your love ofsports? Well, my father had played basketballand golf hat ucla, so I was raised a bruined baby and I used to see Ucoi,basketball and football, so that got me going budde also loved the dodgers andwhen they moved to Los Angeles in Oe thousand nine hundred and fifty eight,they were packed with Stars and Sandy Cofax became my real idle and also lovemore wels and then the second year they were here. They wone the world series,so we were all transcendent in our excitement. The Lakers at that pointhad wilk Chamberlayn and Jerry West, an Neljen Bayler and the Rams my dad used to take me tothe Games. We set so high in Nicoloseum that you needed a telescope to see thefield, but it made me fall in love with football, and so Los Angeles, whos,replete with Greak sports teams, and I had ucla to root for so there was really no choice. I was goingto be a hardcore sports fan and back then we used to fight with each otherto see who got to read the Sports Section in the newspaper. First YeahDave, and we did a radio show this morning and we just talked about howback in the day, the only way you got your sports was when Monday nightfootball woill come on at half time and you could find out about your teamduring during the Games Right Dav, Oh yeah, I grew up a steeler fam, but I was in Arizona and the only time I eversaw that steelers was Monday nights Butipi going along with that newspaper The Sunday sports page withall stafts was that's why you know and that's why I makes it so significantthat you guys fought over that. You know that spirrel page. So what I didlater in life is. We formed a business because there was no internet and ifyou were living in Los Angeles, but you ware Pittsburgh, steeler fan we had areporter from Pittsburgh supply all the highlights. All the features everythingand today I'm on the Board of a company called digital sports network. Thatdoes exactly the same thing. You can get thirty hours of high death content,but then there was no way other than reading a box score that you could everfollow a team outside your market and it would be really hard to describe theworld that I grew up in with black and white television and three networks,and that was it and there were not all the highlight showsthere was not the talk. Radio there was no internet, so it was much more of achallenge to to follow sports and I think it also kept the game kind ofpure to right with all the things that have happened. That happened toathletes. You would hear some of it, but now it's immediate. It's happensright now. If somebody gets in trouble or whatever back, then it was justabout the game and what their stats were. Now it's about everything elsethat goes on in their life as well, and, and it creates a unreal distortion of what athleteslives are really like, because if you have a couple thousand players who playin the NFL ninety nine point, nine percent of them give peak performance,they go home to their wife and kids. They docharitable in community events, but the SPORCS page takes those aborrations andpushes them into fans faces. So you see every drunk driving every domesticviolence as if somehow that was representative, will it's no morerepresentative of the actual world o sports than watching your local news iswhere you'd make the assumption that kidnapping and shootings are never dayoccurrent right now. I agree with that colheartedly and that I wish was out ofit, but we're never going back there again. I guess so Le When you wereyoung, you got to go. Did you have some siblings? How many people ere in yourfamily growing up? I had two brothers and we were all hardcore sports fans. MyDad offered us a dollar every time. The...

...short stop more will sit, a homer whichwas never and but again we had. We had great teams,and it always interests me when people talk about the amazing heritage of other cities and diminish Pos Angeles,but southern California had had a great football team. At the pro level we haveUCLA and SC. We had the dodgers very quickly after that we had the angels, and it really is a sporch Mecca.ITREALLY is, and I mean that was sane- The universe for sports. At that time,between the Lakers, an dodgers I mean, I think you guys whoven have hockey now,so you know the Kings. In donthavnow we have two NFL teams to NHL teams, toMajor League baseball teams to soccer teams, at I say two NBA teams and Oucla NDSC.So it's a sports, Corncopia yeah. It really really is, and so, when you wentwhen you were young, you were playing with your brothers. Who was your idol?Who was the guy? You always wanted to be? You had so many people to choosefrom Oh Sandy Cofax because he was the bestpitcher in baseball and he was simply untouchable and hecarried himself in a very classy way, but I remember rooting for Jerry West.When later I was negotiating with him for Vyron Scott, I said Jerry. This isreally unfair. How am I supposed to negotiate in an aggressive way withsomeone whose picture was over my bed when I was a kid right right, so didyou ever get to meet Sandy? I did he, and it was a real pleasureand and more wills who should be in the hall offame, was also someone that I got to spend time with and it wascomplete throl back. Then we had transistor radios and all the southernCalifornia was united with the sound of Inc, scully's voice and the dodger soldt e, unique concept which was going to a dodger game, so they marketed LosAngeles like it was de Moine Iowa and they had a straiday nights and littleleague nights and Rotary Knices, and so the concept was to go to the dodgorstadium and see the daughters play it didn't matter who they were playing orwho was pitching. You simply went and it created a love affair which laststhis day right so yyou're young kid you're going to allthese games. You get to go and enjoy all these sports moments. When you gointo high school, did you did you play sports? What were your sports in highschool? I ran track and crush country. I was smart enough to know I'd probablybe a greese spot on a football yeh, so I ran the mile a two mile and I rancrush country course. We Pai every sport when we grew up. We weren'tsitting there with video games on Saturday morning. Your mom would letyou out the front door and all day long, you would play baseball basketballfootball with all the kids around and you had to do a funny thing. You Hadeto use your imagination right instead of being swarmed over by big screen,graphics and sound. Ask Him what Sport d you like to play when you were k?Well, it's funny Le we been. We were talking about this earlier today.whiffle wall was for many of our guests. So far on our show. whiffleballs alwaysbeen like a big common denominator for kids when you're young, but alwaysgoing out playing Saturday morning until don a dusk. Is I mean? That'sthat's what we did A it was anye any corner any field. You could find youwouldn'td play wiffaboll and we made games up so that we there was a game.We made. It called Porch Ball where you took a tennis ball and you threw itagainst a porch and then the ball would come backand based on. If you hit it at a right angle, you get a home run, but it wassingle double triples. So we makeup games and we had endless football games in thefront yard. We had endless baceball games, we have enless basketball games and we love them all. The only thing wedidn't have much of in southern California was was hockey because in southernCalifornia they would take you for a snow trip. You know and you would driveup to the mountains- and you saw this incredible thing, which was snow andyou'd put it in a cup, because you knew that you wanted to show your parents tits amazing thing which was snow,which we'd never seen and of course it...

...was a two hour bus ride to get back. Soimagine what we showed our R dauter EA, coy water. We feel that way about sunhere in Pittsburgh. We don't get a lot of Sun, we get more rain snow, but youknow I know Pittsburgh well, because for about twenty years I representedthe steeler quarterback, it started with Ni o'donald and then it went toCordel steward and then I did like the first five years of a Benrosisfor, Oh wow, so you've beenhere a many many times. What's your favorite place to visit in Pittsburgh behind fiel it Oyou have a restaurantthat you always went to. Oh Gosh, we had so many. I can't remember. I had I had players like Pletricoburis, I hadcarnel lake, but there was that one superbowl whereniladonalds started for Pittsburgh and I represented all the quarterbacks onthe field. All the Pitchur quarterbacks and all the Dallas got quarterback. Sothe only sure thing was. I was going to visit one very happygroup in one very sad drrn. You know, whichever one one that's a locker room.You were going to that's fo Al. I would go to the loser. Flocker room. Theother agents could go to the winners. I had to go where they needed me and eventually I'd get to the winningquarterback but and troy won three of them, but so there was period there were Troy,run three and seep young one one. So we were raining super bowl mbps. So didyou represent Jason Garrett as well? I did Akay Garrek Wad Wilson, MikeTomsack Cordel. You know now. I had all the quarterbacks in that game.I think there's still discussion on the radio about a couple of ODONALD's picksin that game. Where were they going? You know it'slike it's rea. It's still discussed today believe or not right. Iunderstand all I knew when I was watching that was. He was about to be afree agent and he would not get resigned in Pittsburgh end up goingsomewhere else. It made your job a little bit harder yeah, but we ended up signing a goodcontract with the jets. Yes, you did. What High School did you go to? I wentto Hamilton High School, which is in West Los Angeles, it's very classiclooking. It was close to MGM, so we had a whole group of child stars and we also later had all Michaels who wentthere warned moon went there. We had Sydneywicks, we had a series of gifted athletes, it was, it was probably ninety percent Jews andten percent blacks, and then we started winning right. So youget through high school. You have a love of sports when you werea junor senior. What were you? What were your thoughts about what youreally wanted to do? What was your next step? Was Your Plan. So my dad raisedme with two core values. One was to treasure relationships, especiallyfamily, and the second was to try to be an agent for change and make adifference in a positive way in the world and help people who couldn't helpthemselves. So I knew I was going to try to be someone that helped other people and and probablywould have been politics, but I knew I wanted to be a lawyer and my whole parents had five degrees between UCLA, and so I went to Ucla and that was first year of cream ill do Jabar puty, but he wascalled Luel Sinder. Then I took a class called anthropology and I was late andI walked into the classroom and all I could see in front of me there's onlyone seat left was a a bunch of darkness and I couldn't seethe poefer and then at the end of the class leuis sender turned around said.I hope I can block your view, but the first demonstration I was ever inis sce was voted to go to the rosebowlinstead of Ucla, even though we had a better record, and so we marched down.Wilser Boulevar in protests got onto the four o five freeway and shut downtraffic. So Lo I know I was yet yet to come, butthen I transferred to Berkeley because it was the late s and it was rock androll and herbal substances and...

...long hair and free love, and it was sort of a concentric capital ofstudents in the world, and I went on to be student money president. At the sametime, the governor was Ronald Reagan, so everything I learned aboutnegotiating originally came from negotiating with Ronald Reagan. Everytime we shut down the campus and protest over the Vietnam War, heintervene and we had some really classic interactions later. He gave me a humanitarian awardwhen he was in the White House, but it didn't seem all that cortio len rightright. So what was so you're in the s at some prolific, music that came outof that erow? who was the band that you love to? Listen to so t interesting thing about beingstudent? My President AF Berkeley is, there were visitors from all over whowould come and I actually ended up showing Jimmy Hendrks came by one day and Iloved his music, and I showed him around Berkeley and Jim Morrison cameanother day and I spent some time with them. So it was. We were just comingout of the period of Mo town, which we all love, and then it was rock. So itwas a rolling stones. It was the Beatles, it was cream, it was JanicChoplin, it was Jeropfersanarplane, but it was the Mecca for music. They usedto have three bills over at at the film ore in San Francisco. Thatwould be like Jimmy Hendrik, Stannis, Choplin and Jefershon airplane. So you know we loved it all, and I had had that experience before,because my grandfather ran a place called hillcrush country club and LosAngeles Country Club wouldn't allow blacks, Latinos, Catholics, Jews oractors. So my grandfather's club became the big hangout and he would play Ginrummy every day with the group that younger people won't remember, but itwas gradual Mark George Burns Jack Banny George Burns and my grandfathertook me to my first baseball game. I have a picture sitting on Marilyn Ronrose lap. I have an autograph Delvis Pressley Guitar, so I had had that experience when I wasyoung, but again Berkeley was the center of the world and it was a centerof rock music and it was really joyful. Did you ever think about? Maybe like entertainment law, not so much insports, but in music? I did't, but you know the truth of the matter was. Ididn't want to know that a certain star was not as idyllic off the screen as hewas on. I didn't want to know about the personalities I want tod. I lovemovies. I was brought up as a movie Fan and I wanted to enjoy it for what itwas. I want Ted enjoy television for what it was without knowing the behindthe scenes and having that ruin somehow. But I wanted to be in court, so eventually I went to law school atBerkeley and I wanted to be a district attorney. I had other offersin politics. I had offers in television news, but I was a dormcounselor in an undergraduate dorm and they moved a freshman football teamfrom cal into the dorm, and one of the students was the quarterback steepParkowski. So when I graduated from law school, Ihad job offers ind corporate litigation and for the DAS office I had a coupleother offers, but before I ever got there, I hadgraduated in January. Seventy four Ho traveled the world for a year andBerkkowsky ended up being the very first player picked in the first groundof the NFL draft in one thousand nine hundred and seventy five. The draft wasin January then, and he asked me to represent them so thereI was grimming with legal experience, never having represented anyone being ayoung lawyer and the US, the World Football League was competing againstthe NFL right and teams like the Sreeporch, Steamer Tha,Charlotte Hornitch and Barcashi was a big floi Wangquarterback and we ended up getting the largest rookie contract in NFL history, and I flew in the night before withParkkowsky to the airport and I'd grown up and layback California. So we getinto the airport ind their pleague lights, flashing in the sky, like for amovie premier, you crowd, is pressed up...

...against the police line and the firstthing we heard was we interrupt en late news to bring you a special news, Boerthan Steve Barcowskan, ands attorney have just arrived at the Atlantaairport. We switch Tou lie for an indepth interview- Oh my goodness, so Ilooked at him. Barcowse PROBABYSEA dorthy looked at toto when they got theMunchkin land and I said I know we're not in Berkley anymore, and I saw thetremendous IDL, worship and veneration that athletes were held in communitiesacross the country and Ey thought. You know they can be role models and if they'llgo back to the high school, the college and professional communityg set upcharitable programs and enhance the quality of life. Then I can really makea difference in this field, and so I didn't know if I keep doing it, but Isaw that we could really have an impact off the field and if I got into the heart aned mind of youngathlete and listen carefully to what their values were and listenedcarefully to their ultimate aspirations. You know the biggest skill is listening,its creating a climate o trust so that you can peel back the layers of theonion until you understand someone else's deepest anxieties and fears andtheir greatest hopes and dreams. And if you can bond emotionally at that point,then from helping esabish someone as a rolemodel to planting the seats. Her second careerto mentoring them throughout a career. I thought well, this is sort of fun, soI feel like all those things that you just talked about. I wish so many coaches would listen tothat and try to do that with their players, because I feel that's a bigdetriment for a lot of coaches. They don't you know they don't profile theirplayers, they don't understand them, so you mentioned profiling so thesecond year I did this. I talked to every athlete I could every footballplayer. I could and I had reasonable results, but not great, and I figuredout that if I could profile an athlete seewhether or not they had a good heart see whether they wanted to be a rolemovel see if they were imbitious for second career bad, I would have muchbetter results, and so for the last forty five years we've been trying toread everything. We can try to make sure that our values match make surethat someone kept economics in balance and that's what allowed me to representsixty two first round, DRAF picks in football. On the very first pick in the draft eight different years and then abig basketball practice baseball hockey, I did boxing with Lennox Lewis, the heaveoychamp, an user de Loa, the middleweight camp and Olympic athletes like Brian Boytonnall,the skater and Terry Shrug the gymnist and the athlete Tan aggregate, a race closeto a ballion dollars for charities. Yea T, that's amazing. That's incredible!Lhot Lee! What was the climate like with sports agents when you got intothe business, did where athletes represented more by attorneys or D,they represent themselves or what was that like? Most of them representedthemselves or they had their parents? Do it? There was no guaranteeed rightof representation to someone like Mike Brown in those early years. If I callthem to represent a player, he would say we don't deal with agents and slamthe phone down. I think they still do that. So there really wasn't a well developedfield. There wasn't even a right to represent a player and all that camelater so as like the wild wall west and you had agents going to collegecampuses, offering money and cars and all sorts of things to players andsigning them, and they were very little regulation. Imean today, someone who wants to represent afootball player has to be certified by the National Football League. Players.Association has to take a test, ast undergo a background. Screening stateshave laws where agents have to register and the states of Florida Alabama, NorthCarolina and Texas, O ball sent agents to jail, and then you have complianceon t e college campus. So there was is a large amount of regulation today whichcleans up the field, but none of that existed back then yeah. No, it wouldhavebe hard. Davi probably would have...

...never played one year an to leave mydad Havang Noggotiate, my contract Iwould, have been so many p bombs thathe was an old mial guy from Pittsburgh. I don't think I, the coach with thekics. Bu Ev remind you is story, so I was negotiating with the raiders back.One thousannine hundred and seventy six for their second round draft pick ofquarterback JEB blunt and his father was a federal judge and he wanted to bepart of the negotiation. So I said You understand this is your son. Itmight not be the best idea because t e teams going to say something todenegrate his talents and you're not going to be happy E, said: Oh Im, afederal judge. I can handle this, so the negotiator for the raiders was diminutive figure named Ow, Locasel,good guy and at one point he started saying. Well, there was a boat. Eightpeople wanted to draft the place. Kicker Chris bar only one wanted Je Blunt D, that was Al Davis and allof a sudden. I could see the ven dispending from pippy blunts neck andhe reaches over and start strangling to the negotiator, the raiders yeah. Eversince then, I've been really careful lot. Oan Mat each of their parentsactually on the scene. That's a great story: Yeah H, my dad. He used to filmour High School Football Games and my wife's father was my high schoolfootball coach, and so he said we're going to watch Saturday, film and youknow after Friday night we're going to watch the film and he said, let's turnthe volume up and see what your dad was saying: The fuck the first word thatcomes out as the F bomb he goes up. I don't think we'reer going to listenthat again, but that that was just my dad at he's, so very passionate Gotca,I'm det with fathers forever, the the very first negotiation I did withSteepe Artkowsky, I said: Look the team is going to say some things to defendtheir position. You know so they might say that you're little slow or you'vegot a bad back or you were just the best player available.But your aren't really a verfect, and I said what do you want to hear from thenegotiation? I said. Oh, I want to hear everything,so I told him what the team had said and he said get me traded, which is never something I did again.ARIGHT got to the bottom line I like: When did things really startrolling bfor it Dole, like you, have Barkowski and then was month? Did youslowly get nomanum off of that or so I rea? I next signed Dave Hampton, whowas a probo running back, but it became clear that the quarterback physicianwas by so far the most dominant position in football and that it hadmuch higher name recognition that it offered the opportunity for rolemodeling endorsements, a much longer career higher pay than I started:Shining quarterback, so n, one thousand nine hundred and eighty three draft. Ihad Kennel Bryan and Tony Eason in the first ground and I signed Nei Lomax,one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight Isigne waren moon and you went upto Canada, and so I started aggragating Ar tipple and Scott Bruner in e wholeseries of quarterbacks. So things were very successful. I one thousand nine hundred and eightyone I had the fourth pick in the first round, who was Kenny. Easley just wentin the hall thing, but in one thousand nine hundred andeighty four Warren Moon came back from Canada and he was the first free agentthat was at the peak of his career at the critical quarterback position andall a team had to do was sinum. They didn't have to give up anything, and sowe organized a tour in three leagues were competing. Then the US fl, the NFLin the CFL, and we took a big trip across the country, which was a tourand visited Houston. where, but Adam said, you can have one of those oilwells. If you sign here- and we went up to New Orleans and John Meekam said-you see that skyline you can own it all and then to Tampa. Where you coverhouse said, you can have a whole floor on thetampisphere and Warran ended up signing the biggest contract in the history offootball. That was followed about two weeks laterby Steve Young, who was the object of a fight betweenthe USFL and the NFL signing the biggest contract in history is sports,which is forty two million dollars. Now that doesn't seem like a lot now, butthat was made headlines was Dan rather...

...led the nightle news off with sportseconomics runamuck, and it was on the front page of every paper in thecountry and all around the world. So the combination of those two really got things going and baseball. I hadCarnie Lancfor, who was Americling batting champion and we started signgbaseball players and tattracker screw to sixty one, but in football T it'sset off the trend and then N, one thousand nine hundred and eightynine. Five years later, I represented Trakeman, who was the first overallpick in the draft and then the next year. Jeff George was the first overallpick and the next year. Russell Marylan was the overall first overall pick andthen he skipped a year and then in one thousand nine hundred and ninety threedrew bledso was the first pick and then in one thousand nine hundred andninetyfour. It was Dan Wilkinson, N, one thousand nine hundred and ninety fivewas Cujohna Carter. And at that point I'm representing half the startingquarterbacks in th NFL and we have- and I would say it was pretty dominant wellyeah, it's just an amazing story and to you probably just walked in a room. Imean I wouldn't. If you would have came and visited me, I'm sure like it wouldhave been surely come on. Let's go, let's go do this thing, but because you've worked so hard at it andyou put so much effort it bebecause. I my question is: When you have somebodylike Warren Moon, Steve Young, how do you know where to start? Because youhave to do a lot of research on what that value should be because it's goingup every year so back then there was no salary cab, so the question becamewhose reality was gong to prevail. Could I paint a picture throughstatistics through comparables that would show the value of the quarterbackor any other player? Because I mean we now have our tenth player just went inthe hall of fame over the weekend, Tony Gunzalis, but I also have Erick Thomasand Therman Thomason and Bruce Smith and howy long and Kevin Green and and Kenny easily in the three quarterbackswe talked about so was all positions. Could you make a compelling argument?Could you get into the heart aned mind of an owner or ageneral manger and convince him that Acman steel was going to be thebiggest contract of all time for a rookie? But you know what this willdemonstrate to the fans of Gallas that you're serious aboutbringing back winning football and whenever we negotiate in a couple yearswill be passe, because TV money will have have jumped one of the things. And so you have tomake that compelling argument and you only have a general manager or an ownerto listen. So I learned that publicly negotiaing didn't make any sense and Iwent to owners- and I said we're not doing this- the right way, because whenwe have acremonious negotiations that paint a players greedy and a team isopsiner. We're just pushing fans away who can't relate to the money anyway.And if we have Collectev bargining agreements that pit billionairesagainst millionaires and we have lockouts and holdous were sabotageingour own sport ar real competition in football is with Major League Baseball,the NBA wilt this new world homebox office and every other form ofdiscretionary entertainment spending. So why don't we get together and buildthe brand? Let's blow out TV contracts, let's create stadia that have multipleand Suar revenue screens when the Internet came along. Let's think aboutthat. How about an NFL network- and I worke in harmony with owners, to try tocreate a bigger pie, because I knew that the best way to handsomely compensate players was tomake sure that there was enough money there and the TVcontract which Eura started. Had Two million dollars is a chair of the national TV. CONTART coreveryteam then went to seventeen million and the owners thought the sky was fallingand they better lock that contract down, but Rufer murdorch walked up to me atFox and said I'd like to bet on NFL hootball. We did a super bowl party athis fuck studio on the set of of Hello Dolly Anyway, they startedbidding and then seventeen went to...

...forty went to seventy went to a hundrednell two hundred million dollars. But the point is the only way I couldconvince someone that our perception of value was correct wasto show him why it was in their interest. So again I emphasize atlistening is really critical understanding the position you're,putting the other person in and then knowing better than ever brag about adeal or to make the owner or the gym look bad,because the only thing I can tell you is that if you step your foot onsomeone's exposed, neck you'll be vunerable at some point later right, LE, what's the biggest difference. Inyour opinion, between negotiating a baseball contract in a footballcontract, the systems are totally different. Soin football, traditionally, a player will get a signing bonus, and this yearthey range from like twenty three twenty four million dollars in thefirst round about five million dollars, because the contracts have not beenguaranteed now. Last year, the top twenty two players in the first roundgot tony guaranteed contracts for skill and injury. So it's starting to spreadthe rest of the players in the first round, got three years totallyguaranteed for skill in injury one not and at the top of the second round, to plus two, but because baseballcontracts were not guarantee, neither wer basketball contracts. The fight wasover the total compensation, so baseball has a system. Where is all agebased when a player gets drafted, icomes in signs a contract? If he's afirst rounder he's going no get a little bit of bonus, but then the nextthree years, once they make the majors team, can renew hem for any figure thatthey want as long as it's the MINIMUL and it's not till year for that theyget salary arbitration. So the first six years of a player's career, theteam has all the power in baseball and that's why free agency operates the wayit does in football. The big fight was over the bonus in the length of thecontract. Wesitially, the contracts were guarantee. So now we have a saarycap. That's taken all of that away because we busted the salary cap. I in ninetyThreewich Ewat. They meant it to take away all bonuses, but led SOM maketwenty million dollars in his first three years, because we did somethingcalled Avoidable Year: Ghtwai Wer. He got the big bonus and then three yearslater he would become a free agent or n Wok Esom case four years later. But atany rate, the point is that in football the team has all the leverage and whenyou see these players holding out of camp, the rules are stacked againstthem. So not that anybody's. All that excitedabout the running backs holding out of camp, I mean nobody wants to get therunning back shit in preseason in the games or intraining camp anyway, so it war in camps. They wouldn't be doing much so, but the rules are all very heavilystacked against betteran players who hold out on contracts. Free Agency produces players that are bplus to aminus players: genrally it don't produce the big superstars, becausethey're either preemptably sign or they are franchised and the team holds atfranchise right. So in free agency B, plus players get a pluscontracts because they have the benefit of competition, unlike basketball andbaseball, where they really have competitive bidding and it results. Iextraordinary contract, yeah baseball's crap. Was it a four hundred and fiftymillion dollar contract this year? Yes, but I will tell you this with Russell Wilson at thirty fourmillion dollars a year and more contracts coming for the JERREK gofs ofthe world, and I might have a client who someone wants to talk to before hiscontracts up maybe in Prai home, but the quarterback position is now getting paid at a comparative level. Itreally is. Finally, you know you know, what's crazy thoh les is, I wasconsidered a backup for most of my career and...

I still played foin fifteen years. Ahundred and twenty games and the dropoff, though from starter to backup,is so significant and I always felt like the team ditn'n put enough intoback up because for me I could go in and play and have no problem staying atthe level, but a lot of teams that we see when backups come in the leveldrops off and the team has no chance so what's happening now. I think defieisrationality back in the day, Steve Young backed upJoe Monkan. Imagine that is Serosto rig a you be on made the fifth most amountof money of any player when the NFL as a Backa, and you had at Washington, J, schrader and and Doug Williams, andyou had at Minnesota Rich, rich Gannon and Waite Wilson. So teamsactually have high quality an other WERD GUSS FROCKCO would start for a lotof teams. Okay, so it was like having two starting quarterbacks now because of the salary cab. An theextraordinary amount of cap space t at the quarterback contract takes up it'sa massive dropoff and even more strange and it's true at every position. So youlose your offensive. Tackling you're not backed up by a MINUSOR B plustackle you're, might be backed up by a aging veteran or a young wookie, makingthe minimum. So we have income inequality at the NFL level, with a large numberof players, making the minimum to support the salaries for six or sevensuperstars, and, what's even less rational to me, is the fact that halfthe teams are only keeping two quarterbacks. So if it's the most critical positionin a quarterback centric game, how is it possible that a team would not havea quality? Second quarterback, almost as good as the first one to pilot theteam, I mean it doesn't escape notice that having Nick foles of Philadelphiasaved them in to of years and got them to the Super Bowl Igtso, that's crazy! So imagine thisquarterback one goes down, and now you have quarterback two on a roster.Hopefully you have a quarterback on practice squad, but you may be out onthe street looking for someone who hadn't even been in training him. That is not a safe way to play. NFLFOOTBALL RIGHT! No! I agree. I agree all right so le on a lighter note. Obviously the movie Jerry McGuire cameout and you know there's a lot of stuff. I haven't seen a lot of how you wereinvolved in ad that they talked to you a lot about that movie. A and get ideasabout. You know your life, and can we incorporate this into the movie? I'venever gotten to hear anything about that with you so N, one thousand ninehundred and ninety three, the writer Director Cameron, Crow, called me upand asked if he could follow me and be immersed in the scene so that he couldwrite a movie about a sport Jatin and he really followed me for about a yearand a half and he went to one thousand nine hundred and ninety three Draf,where I had DREP Lecho as a client hand flew up to the PRESH conference withBill Parciells, he went to a number of games with me. Came Tho pros countingday at USC went to Super Bowl harteage with me. I took him out to League meetings inone thousand nine hundred and ninety three, where I had ti McDonald, is freeagent. I was showing off the people and introduced him to people, but I toldhim stories, lots and lots of stories, so he went off and created a briantscript and my job was sort of the bet, the script, to make sure that thewilling suspension of disbeliefs that holds Tyou an emotion picture. So as asports fan, you know that the look is right right. I dialoges and ot phoney,and then he assigned me some actors to put intoroll one of them was Cupa gooding junior, who I took down to the Super Bowl in Phoenix in one thouand,nine hundred and ninety five or six and and Madhim. Pretending was my clientall week, so he had to get in roll and he hung out with desmon Howard d andsome of our other wide receivers. I actually had to show the quarterback inthe film Cush Tike by Jeryoconell had a throw aspiral because he had gone to Nyu and they didn't have football there. So...

...you know thereust a lot of lifes thereup on the screen. It's obvious, not biographical, because it's not a verygood movie for carry McGuire to start with the first pick in the traft you know he's got to have you have tohave UPLEF, but it you know I was on set for a lot oftime and and shere's a lot of life up on that screen.I always agreed Inh cameron that I would never reference what might havecome fom me or what didn't, but and then every day since then, if I go to an airport or if I go out todinner, inevitably someone's going to come up and say those for biconic wordsto me. Yo now show me the modow, so it's been sort of funny show me themoney actually came from the leage meetings. That year TI McDonald was afree agent. Nobody had any rights him so showing them off. The teams, socameron went upstairs in Tim's, hotel room and Ludobs, and money line on CNNwas on the television and Cameron asked him. What is it you're? Looking for inthis experience and Tim said well, I'm looking for someone to show me winningbecause I've never had it. I'm looking for someone to show me respect and I'mlooking for someone to show me the money wow. I didn't know that. That'sawesome. That is a great story. Thanks for sharing that you got to listen toyour podcast to find theng things out. That's right! It's right! It's so leg! So you're going on in yourlife, you're Gettingto twosand! Now you know all those guys that you've talkedabout they're, considered old school now, right and so you've had thatadjustin transition and change with all these different types of athletes thatare coming out, how you stayed so current. So these guys know who you are so I've spoken on eighty three collegecampuses, so I made a decision. I try to mentor the nextgeneration of young sports professionals and, right now we have a agent academy that we do for youngeragents and we've done about fifteen times teaching them specific skills. Had Arepruite out e negotie had to do a charitable foundation, damage control. We've have a online horse and sporch career conference. L NEXTCOME UP IN CHICAGO next month, and but I went back to the campuses because Ithought I'd share what I knew with with the massive amount of people trying toget in the industry, so that was part of it. The second thing is, I learned early back in the S I created a companycalled athlete direct and it put athletes up on the Internet for thefirst time you still had to reference AOL to get up onto the onto the Internet, and I Signe KenGerphy Junor, Michael Jordan, and a whole series of an a whole series of football quarterbacks and for the firsttime they were online and for the first time you could read their weeklydiaries. You could do a chat with them and I designed a neat commerceapplication. So part of it was in understanding that the new mode ofcommunication was going to be the Internet and watching young people,because I had kids in my own who were reading news off the Internet who weregetting entertainment off the Internet and then with the development of cellphones, that they were using that platform hipad all sorts of and computers toscommunicate. So we got pretty active on that with with the website and and so on, twitter and linked in, like I'm lingked in, Ihave seventy six thousand buddings friends. I made sure that that I understood whatthat next generation was was doing, and I also understood that if you watch, if,if you multitask as a young person and your texting and snap chatting andtweeting and watching little bursh of color and sound, it is undercuts attention span right. So Ihad to learn how to get a pitch out much quicker. The L Elevator Pitch Yeah.Definitely right. So you just had to understand that you were dealing with anew generation of millennials...

...and all the rest ITN helped that in twothousand and four I had my second best selling book, which was the agent and I travelled across thecountry to campuses in different places to make sure that that I was connecting with that nextgeneration now also for the today's athletes,probably much more informed than they were say twenty five years ago twentyyears ago. So how does that play in terms of courting them initially as an agentduring a negotiation process? They probably know a lot more than they didmaybe make meit three except history isentistry. So so history began today for young peopleright Eah, so you had to make sure that the culturalreferences became relevant right, that you knew that Ninja was playing fortnight on and that a hundred and ten thousandpeople were watching him play that video game. They weren't playing avideo game, theywere watching him play E, do game and he has the highestrecognition of any athlete you know in the country. You had to understand that what young people were watching, what movies they were seeing what theywere listening to. So I made it policy to reach six newspapers a day, abunch of magazines to sort of monitor television and music and stay up on what washappening and I'm not going to go. Do a Solshak or hang out at a bar witht he young person Toright. We have Chris Cabon and my son Matts timber. Wehave a whole group of people that can do that, but at least I had to make sure that I wasn't sitting on a bench with MissMatch: modras shorts and black socks. With my button up fo the top. You know a drooll comingout of the side of my mouth or probably not throwing out Barkowski's name whenpourting Mhans canets leave that out o e conversation. The only relevant thing was that I knowhow to elevate a player to the top of the draft right. There's no doubt aboutthat. So, Lea you've been through all these transitions in your life. You'vedone an amazing job. You know, and you've talked about giving back now anddoing things to help everybody else around you and I think, you're doing anamazing amazing job of that and just from people that want to be like you tothe players that want to hire you it's so amazing where you've come. Whatis something that you can tell our fans to give them an idea, I'v just how tostay relevant for so long and what you've done. So. I think that, first of all that you have to have asense that one person can make a difference. My Dad used to say to mewhen you look for the Amorphous Day to fix a problem whenyou think that other people are going to do it. Politicians, older people,you could wait forever and need look at me and say the vage Youson. You arethevay. So it's a sense of responsibility and understanding,what's happening in the world, that I created a program to against bullingthat took older athletes to put them with high school athletes so that theywould change the culture in the school because the athlete was on the top ofthe food chain and if they're, preaching Colerange, it's it's. Having Lennox Lewis cut ofpublic service announcement, thatd said Real men don't hit women to address adomestic violence. It's it's using athletes to raise awareness about climate change and then my own projects. We set upproject with Secretary Stateman and all right, which is called ADOPTA minefield,and she and I announced it, and this would allowd demining of mindfields aroundthe world. Today. I'm really concerned with the wholespectre of concussion, so I just agreed to settle aboard of a group raginglarge amounts of money for Al Zeimer, CTE and DIMENSAR research, because I didn't think it wasresponsible to say that I had players best fiduciar responsability and mindand send down the road to Damensia. So I've done fourteen concussionconferences trying to promote safer helmets football without balking and...

...tackling during training camp newtresu. Some PHARMERCEUTICAS TAT canheal so it's staying tuned to what's happening in the world andunderstanding that all of us can make a difference in ourown way. For some people, it's simply goodparenting, but we all have the obligation and responsibility to try to heal suffering and and help peoplecan't help themselves right. So Dave Lee, doese Hehas a pano ever year foris Super Bowl Party, and I sat in that panel two years ago when it was inMinnesota and spoke about our APRABERTA, which you know you're part of, and really how it's so important to useit as a proactive tooe. The REVERNO APP is basically a way to measure andmonitor your brain performance because, as you know, as as you can see in howhealthy he is, he probably do really well on it, but it just it's soimportant to keep up on your numbers. So what Reberto does this gives you anidea of where you are, and you gut to stay within that normal rage? And yougo ao example of Guserat and other people taking on a problem and comingup with interesting solution that that really helps athletes. That's what it'sall about, helps everyone everyone and we're really excited to be a part ofthat so LE. I really appreciate you coming onwith us one last thing we do before we go here. We do something called the nohuddle and we fire a bunch of questions at you and answer them as quick as youwant. But it's a lot of fun. We try to give you some questions. Maybe youhaven't had before, but I doubt, but we really appreciate the time so Davvewant you fire away into no Hodel all right leave in your opinion. What's theMo most overhype thing in sports today, the home run contrast contest andbaseball, but runed our hitter right, Josh Besall he's him about on fifty,since he hetearned that so yeah we're against that so lee. What is one you'vehad over three hundred athletes who, as one athlete you think back,it's a man I just wish. I could have representative because I think I couldhave changed his life. Oh, my goodness, why don't we startwith Johnny Manzell? That's a good one and you know were our way on. Of course Ihave a long list of the people they didn't take his clients and, of course,they've all gone onto e major makor superstars. I wish that I hadbeen involved with the iconic athletes of our time and goten them to use theirbrand tiger. Woods and Michael Jordan used their brand forinternational good. Rightly if you could go back in time and talk to ayoung late Le Steinberg. What would you say to him? I would say beware of Alcoholeah, because when I had a crash from alcohol backten years ago, I didn't understand the addictivequality of it, and I hadn't been a big drinker but boy. You know it caught upfast, but you know what you've done such a good job of saying look. Thiswas a this is a bump in the road you overcame it and you'r back on top again.You know. I think that if we share the reason ive shared, my own struggles isin the hope it helps somebody who's out there struggling and hopeless and give them some direction. Okayly. Ifyou were building a negotiator from scratch, what would their first qualitybe a quiet mind the ability to tune ou, exter, strimulous ability to stayfocused and stay in the moment and to elevate their level of discourse innegative or seemingly hopeless situations. So it's resiliente comingback over and over again getting knocked back by coming back over andOverton, so you don't want to reach across the table when the veins arepopping out and start strangling at the guy, your negotiating with anchingexcellent toking to pick a break sotally. What's your biggest pet peeve,if you got to have a big pit, peep people looking at their phones constantly knocking you over as you try to enterthe gym. Looking at that phone and not beingaware of what is happening, did nuclear...

...war just break out? Is Your father onhis deathbed? What could be so critically important on that phone,that it steals you away from being aware of your environment andinteracting with other people? I share that with Lee. That's my numberone! Oh Yeah, you never have your phone on you yeah! I prefer to. I wish theywere never convented. Quite frankly. Well, look at look at Rocky Blir. Whenwe interviewed rocky, we said how did you find out you were drafted, he saidAl. My friends told me they saw it on TV yeah. I remei remember one thousand Ninhundred and eighty sitting with the offensive tackle Brad Buddy and theonly way we could follow it was by radio and then by the phone call hegot. I mean when you look at the draft today, which is a three ring. CircusiteMat. It is crazy all right day, last one what you ut for the okay: what'sthe best innovation in sports in the last twenty years, hi definition, TV and the fact that you can actually see everything. Clearly, when you goback and look at the old non TV, eucan hardly managed to focus. So ever every development on television has football grew up with television and it's part of what made it the nation'smost dominant sport. What's your opinion on in Sir Replay and wherethat's gone, I think it's horrible. I don't think we need. We've always had referes on Umpires whouse heir own judgment. You can see on a baseball game that the empireis notcalling a strike a strike or he's calling the wrong thing. So here's what incant replay does thefootball. It creates more dead time and it separates the thrill of a playersporing, a touchdown from your emotional reaction to it. So now youhave to wait and see, wasn't really a touchdown. Was It really appall? Whatwas it really now, if you're at the stadium, all that's, there is dead time,nothing's happening and if you're sitting at home, you're watchingcommercials or thatever compelling close up of the Referte with hisheadphone SOM, yeah or yeah he's under the tarp. We don't need it its close down football. It's a realthreat to the millennial generation who were going to have to keep in theirsheets anyway, and it's always been fun, arguing about bad calls and they don'tget it right anyway, because there's no certainty other than if you extend TaYard Market on the first and ten or on the goalline. There's no certaintyanywoye. So this is not science. This is not physics, andts. It's a gameplayed by people and referes who missed to call with then come back and fanslobe arguing over MSS Paul, so it as part of the game, EL, none bigger thanin New Orleans. Last year, right Rright, I mean Oh yeah, but you have intantrepay how that help. I think the robotic strake zone will be a maidbare.It would just o. You can't do that. There's no way you could do that. Imean the strike. Toit is what it is. They H.Everybody has a different day. Some days. ITIGHTS are days out wider. Irukhed a Dogyor game last night and you could see that the ball was a ball, butthey called a strike, and so I don't know how the empires ever.Let that happen because it showss their fallibility every single day, alsoholding the tag on a loika runner slides in the second and they hold thetag for three seconds in Casehe. Stumbles hate that also that's anothero and then then you get to watch the REF, the UMPIRES, you know watch it seventeen times withdifferent angles and even with all those angles, that's still notcompletely quat right. It just takes way too long. It takes away too longWellle. I think we need o yeah no replay, but I think we would needanother six hours to get through everything about LE, but we reallyappreciate you sharing and taking the time with us.

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