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The Agent: My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game Hardcover – January 21, 2014

3.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A memoir by the arguably most influential agent in NFL history—Steinberg has represented the likes of icons Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Warren Moon, and Ben Roethlisberger and served as the model for the movie character Jerry McGuire—should never have been this much work to read, but fortunately the pedestrian writing and relentless, if tempered, self-promotion are trumped by the insights that, aided by coauthor Arkush, Steinberg shares on the hugely important NFL agent-player-owner relationship. There’s the delicate protocol Steinberg developed with his clients—postgame, for example, he’d visit his clients in the losing locker room first, then those in the winning locker room—war stories of negotiating with many of the NFL’s most colorful team owners, and, of course, (discreet) tales of the players themselves. Weak presentation notwithstanding, the star power of Steinberg and his clients should create a healthy demand for this title. --Alan Moores

Review

“NFL crazies will eat this like snack food.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“It's fashionable now, after the movie, for a lot of agents to talk about heart, but Leigh was the only one talking like that in 1993, when I began research.” ―Cameron Crowe, director of Jerry Maguire on Leigh Steinberg

“Leigh Steinberg was the greatest sports agent in history.” ―Forbes on Leigh Steinberg

“There really is a Jerry Maguire. Only he's not some schlumpf struggling to make it on a wing and a prayer like Tom Cruise in the movie. . . . His name is Leigh Steinberg, and [he] also happens to be the pre-eminent sports agent of our time.” ―San Francisco Examiner on Leigh Steinberg

“Many sought out Leigh and he easily could have concentrated his attention elsewhere, but he so believed in me and my future that he stuck with me…A man of integrity and foresight, Leigh emphasized empowering his clients in order that they not be manipulated nor taken advantage of, thereby transcending and supplanting the 'agent' stigma of the time. ” ―from the Foreword by Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon on Leigh Steinberg

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (January 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250030420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250030429
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leigh William Steinberg is an American sports agent. During his 30-year career, Steinberg has represented over 150 professional athletes in football, baseball, basketball, boxing, and Olympic sports. He has represented the No. 1 pick overall in the NFL draft a record eight times, a milestone unmatched within the sports industry. His client list has included Steve Bartkowski, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Kordell Stewart, Jeff George, Ben Roethlisberger, Myron Rolle, Matt Leinart, Mark Brunell, Ricky Williams, Howie Long, Eric Karros, Dusty Baker, Lennox Lewis, Oscar de la Hoya, and John Starks. Steinberg is often credited as the real life inspiration of the sports agent from the film Jerry Maguire.

@Leighsteinberg

https://www.facebook.com/Super.Agent.Leigh.Steinberg

http://www.forbes.com/sites/leighsteinberg/

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/leigh-steinberg/5b/188/647

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Leigh Steinberg's memoir and second book, "The Agent," details his rise to the pinnacle of the sports agent profession. We read about his life growing up in Los Angeles as the grandson of a well known Hollywood insider who ran Hillcrest Country Club. Leigh starts his memoir in Los Angeles, chronicling his life as a youngster, to his becoming student body president of Berkeley during a revolutionary era in the late 1960's.

In this revealing memoir, Leigh recounts stories burned in his mind that give a glimpse into the dizzying life he has led. At times, it feels a bit like "Forrest Gump," in the sense that Leigh consistently finds himself in the middle of Americana over the course of his life.

The odds of a human being born are akin to winning the lottery. The odds may not be ever in our favor of being born at all. The odds of being the dorm counselor to a future #1 NFL draft pick? Slim. The odds that player will choose you, an amateurish law student with no NFL negotiating experience, to represent them? Astronomical. Yet it happened. Leigh's first client was Cal quarterback Steve Bartkowski, the #1 pick in the 1975 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. You read that right. Leigh happened to fall into sports representation because he was Bartkowski's RA. At the time, this seemed to be a fluke of epic proportions. We come to learn Leigh had ambitions of being a public defender or a politician. Not a sports agent.

It is truly remarkable to read Leigh's anecdotes about the sports representation field at that time and to see how much has changed in 40 years. There wasn't much of an NFL agent "industry" in 1975. Jameis Winston certainly will not be choosing his dorm counselor to be his agent next year.
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This is a solid book. Leigh Steinberg revolutionized the sports agency business. From the mid 70s with his first client UCal QB Steve Bartkowski who was only slightly younger than Steinberg to the 2000s, Leigh Steinberg was the Go To Guy. Agent who controlled the QB position. This book is very interesting in providing the backstory to his rise to fame, his philosophy on running the agency, his many relationships with athletes and specific stories of player negotiations. He eventually transcended player representation bridging into multimedia and ownership.

But this book is at it's best just recounting how he got in the business, how he grew it and how he negotiated it. I had some dealings with his agency. As a CPA I interviewed to handle the finances for Walter Lewis, an AL QB who signed a million dollar contract with the USFL in 1983. We were selected by Steinberg's partner, Mike Sullivan. I specifically remember a year later when Mike called announcing he was leaving. That period is covered well in this book and needless to say, Steinberg felt mistreated by his former partner. Mike was a real pro I enjoyed meeting but I had no involvement with Leigh.

If you are interested in pro football and the agency business, grab this book and read it! But there is another part of Leigh's story and there have been newspaper articles that go into further detail of his alcoholism which broke Steinberg completely and ruined his reputation with many clients. But as you would expect of a marketing person, that is somewhat glossed over. Yes, it's covered. But relatively quickly and always with an angle to make him the hero. That's my only complaint with this book. Steinberg is a shell of his former self in the agency business but you would never know it form reading this.
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While there certainly are interesting stories, hardly a few pages go by without the author talking about how great he is. I obviously knew when I bought it that it was going to contain many stories about his successful negotiations. What disappointed me was him constantly either taking credit for people's successes or explaining people's failures resulting from him not being involved. Heck, he even tells a story about his intellect being compared to Einstein's. Everything in this book is "look what I did," or "look who I know." On the Kindle version, almost 5% of the book are photos of him with athletes. Who cares!! I don't want to see pictures of Leigh. While reading it, I actually started to mark the pages where he puts another plug in for himself or talks about how awesome he is. It became quite comical. I actually quit doing that when I reached 50. I would pass on this one.
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Leigh Steinberg has hob-nobbed with presidents, partied with Super Bowl Champions -- even sat on Marilyn Monroe's lap. My only regret, every time I get a chance to hear him speak ... is that there is never enough time to hear more. Leigh is a storyteller supreme. You won't be disappointed. The real Leigh Steinberg movie would be a whale of a lot better than "Jerry Maguire."

Buy it. Read it. Read it again. Learn from Leigh's experience. It is vast.
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Disappointed. Felt largely was simply self promotion by author. Would not recommend. Author did not explore his personnel struggles as advertised in any meaningful detail.
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