I apologize for the hiatus, but I hope to deliver an exciting hypo for everybody to discuss in the fourth edition of this column.
One of your clients is a starting QB in the NFL. We will call him Willie Smoke. Willie is a third-year player who led his team to the AFC Championship game last season and topped it off by sipping Mai Tais in Honolulu at the Pro Bowl. Smoke’s stellar performance has led to many accolades and he has really enjoyed rising to the top of his sport.
Off the field, Smoke has been soaking up the attention and basking in the glory. In addition to granting countless media interviews, he is always going to the clubs and taking advantage of the many fringe benefits that come along with being a famous athlete.
Unfortunately, Smoke’s love of the better things in life has started to detract from his play on the field. Team officials have alerted you that on a few occasions, Smoke has showed up late to team meetings and has appeared lackadaisical in practice. They are worried that Smoke has lost his focus and his game performance will start to suffer if he keeps it up at this rate.
They ask you, as his agent, to have a sit-down with Smoke and talk some sense into him. You reassure team officials that you will take care of the issue and get Smoke back on track.
It not as easy as it seems though, and in the end, this may be an empty promise.
What the team officials do not know is that Smoke has become extremely aggravated with you in the past when you attempted to counsel him about his private affairs. This is not the first time that Smoke has had issues that started to affect his game. The last time you called Smoke out for misbehaving, he responded by cursing you and telling you to mind your own business. He reminded you that the only reason he hired you was to take care of his contracts and secure endorsements, not to tell him how to live his life. He admonished you for trying to intervene and warned you that he will find another agent if you ever badger him like this again. Believe me, he tells you, “there are plenty of other agents that would be glad to represent me. I’m worth millions.” The message is loud and clear— buzz off or I’m out.
What was once an occasional issue for Smoke has deteriorated into a pattern of slip-ups. It is time for some serious counseling. Let’s face it, Smoke is a sex addict, and only professional intervention will remedy his addictive behavior.
You have to get Smoke enrolled in professional counseling immediately to save his career. At the same time, you are deeply afraid that he will tell you to get lost and you will end up losing the player that helped your agency rise to the top. To make matters worse, you do not want to hurt your credibility with team officials if you fail to live up to your promise.
What would you do…?