I recently had occasion to read Next Question: An NFL Super Agent’s Proven Game Plan for Business Success, by the Rosenhaus brothers, Drew and Jason. Having read Drew’s first book, A Shark Never Sleeps, I knew Drew’s story and was aware of his blustery, self-promoting style. But the title indicated that this book was more than a collection of war stories from the Rosenhaus’ representation of various NFL players, but contained business concepts. On this level, I was somewhat disappointed.
Besides naming the chapters after supposed business concepts (such as ”Bet on Yourself”, “Put Yourself in Position for Opportunity and Seize It!”, etc.) there is far less “game plan for business success” compared to stories of the Rosenhaus’ success. There is some value in these stories, although the Rosenhaus’ rarely delve deep enough to explore the lessons learned.
What stretches the imagaination, is the “Next Question Principle” - a lesson learned from the now infamous Terrell Owens press conference following his suspension from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Rosenhaus’ defend their strategy to have Drew yell “next question” every time a reported posed a difficult question to Owens as a philosophical decision to always look forward and never look back. The press conference was widely lampooned. However, the Rosenhaus’ give themselves credit for sticking to the principle. After all, Owens received a lucrative contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, the real question is if Jerry Jones did not have a perpetual wad of money burning a hole in his Armani suit pocket, would anyone have paid big money for Owens? Nevertheless, with respect to the “Next Question” press conference, some reflection would have been appreciated.
Despite its flaws, this book does have some redeeming qualities. Drew’s idea to have ESPN television his first NFL contract negotiations as 22 year-old was nothing short of genius. His work getting Willis McGahee drafted in the 1st round despite the fact that he was not recovered from a severe knee injury is legendary. These stories make for an interesting read.
Perhaps most interesting, is the unique ways in which the Rosenhaus’ have structured player contracts. This section, which included comparisons to typical NFL contracts and explained the intricacies of signing bonuses, salaries and roster bonuses, was enlightening. It also demonstrated the Rosenhaus’ potential for offering unique information and made me wish for more of it.
Similar to Drew’s first book, many of the lessons are hidden between self-promoting stories of the Rosenhaus’ dominating the agent game, outworking everyone else and being loved by their clients. For good measure, the Rosenhaus’ discuss their interest in martial arts, but cannot refrain from detailing their success in that realm as well.
Next Question should be read by every aspiring sports agent or anyone looking to break into a highly competitive field. However, the reader should be prepared to tolerate a large dose of bluster and self-promotion in the process.