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The Agent: My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game Hardcover – January 21, 2014
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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
“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
Top customer reviews
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. In some respects I wonder if he wrote this because he needs any money he can get.
Irrespective to my ramblings and guesses, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and with the caveats mentioned can definitely recommend it.
I have nothing bad to say about the book and took away a few good things. It made me decide to purchase Leigh's other book "Winning with Integrity".