I again want to thank Adam Rosenfield (@adamrosenfield), Elaine Steinfeld(@elainefrances), and Michelle Weinberg (@mushified) for covering the Super Bowl events in Dallas, Texas for Sports Agent Blog. The following write-up is a wrap-up of their experiences, written by Adam Rosenfield.
It was an interesting weekend in Dallas for Super Bowl Weekend. The vibe in and around the Metroplex was obviously dulled due to the once-in-a-generation snowstorm that blanketed not only Dallas, but much of the nation as well. This put a damper on many of the Super Bowl festivities until late Friday, early Saturday.
It’s been a crazy year in DFW (Dallas Fort-Worth), as we’ve hosted the NBA All Star game, World Series, had the first non-AQ Rose Bowl champion, and watched the most epic collapse since the fall of Rome (2010 Dallas Cowboys), and the Super Bowl was just the icing on the cake.
For Elaine, Michelle and me, this was definitely a logistically complicated Super Bowl, as we were scheduled to cover events in Arlington, Fort Worth, North Dallas, South Dallas – basically all over the Metroplex. This was a pretty exciting opportunity; to network with business leaders, agents and athletes alike.
The first party we attended was the Superbowl Superstars Gift of Life Foundation hosted by Tony Dorsett, honoring former Cowboys player Ron Springs, who is currently in a coma battling a kidney disorder. This was definitely a low key event, without a whole lot of fanfare, as the whole idea of it was to honor Mr. Springs and the determination of his wife and kids during his illness. I was able to meet his former teammate, Everson Walls (I graduated high school with his son), who donated a kidney so his teammate and friend could survive. If that’s the not essence of teamwork and friendship, I don’t know what is.
As I said, it was a very low-key vibe, and an older crowd at that. For many, this was their only party of the weekend. It was also a 75-85% Dallas crowd, so a big local flavor accompanied the event.
The big name people that were there were athletes. Most were Cowboys, from Walls, to Dorsett, to Charles Haley, Angelo King, and Drew Pearson. Earl Campbell made an appearance as well, accompanied by his son. It’s amazing how much his running style took a toll on his body- he said he’s a 55 year old man in an 80 year old’s body.
Our big interview that night was with Leigh Steinberg, who was very gracious in not only providing us with a shout out to Sports Agent Blog, but also talked about issues in sports business. He explained that an 18 game schedule was not healthy for players, and unlike other sports, the NFL hasn’t force fed fans. Rather, they built the brand, with naming rights, fantasy football and other items that helped the NFL have ten times the revenue in 2010 that it did in 1995 ($180 million vs 17 million).
I also asked him about the chance of a franchise in Los Angeles. He was actually the chairman of LA’s “Save the Rams” in 1995, and believes this time around it has a chance to succeed because of the backing from AEG and the Anschutz Group, among others. Our night ended around 11:30, as all of us had full-time jobs to attend to Friday, as well as treacherous roads to navigate.
Our second and third events were on Friday, the Star PR party at Joyce Lounge and the Pamela Anderson SuperBash at the Fashion Industry Gallery. Once again, the weather was treacherous and we had a late start to the day.
The Star PR party was interesting in that the host of this party wasn’t a celebrity or a player… he was a filmmaker. The reason he, director Jim Seaney made the film “Run and Shoot,” was to show a different side of high school football. He said it was “not your typical HS football film, as it is being filmed in Vancouver.”
The one thing I took from my conversation with him, is this film provides players with yet another chance at expanding their repertoire beyond football, an interesting point of conversation that was broached in talking with players on Saturday.
The party was very low key, and we prepared for Pam Anderson’s SuperBash party at Fashion Industry Gallery Dallas. This promised to be a star-studded event featuring plenty of players and celebrities. It was sponsored by Dallas sports agency Willis and Woy. Lots of people were there. This was more of a party vibe, with plenty of Playmates, athletes from playoff and non-playoff teams alike, and of course, Ms. Anderson herself, who stole the show. The vibe was definitely of the Super Bowl variety, with the high class coming from near and far. I didn’t get the opportunity to chat with many of the players, since they themselves were ogling at Ms. Anderson.
Saturday was the most packed day in our schedule. It also happened to be the best weather day… NO SNOW, NO SLEET, NO ICE and MILD TEMPERATURES. (That had to be capitalized, we all had a bit of cabin fever).
We started off with Elaine’s favorite party, the Celebrity Beach Bowl. I learned two things from that: 1) Warren Moon still throws a great ball at 50 years of age, and 2) I really don’t know half the celebrities in this world. All was well in the world though, as Dallas sports fans booed both A-Rod and Eli Manning as they warmed up during the pregame. It was entertaining, and proved to me Dallas Sports fans still have some sense. This was one of the free events during the Super Bowl, and it was very entertaining.
After that, we made our way down to the Hyatt Regency hotel for the Player Networking Event, which was my personal favorite event. I was able to talk to a ton of players and agents before and during the event, and they had some interesting things to say about life beyond football.
Nesby Glasgow, who played for the Baltimore/Indianoplis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks told me, “Players should not define themselves as a football player- it guides you in the wrong direction.” He currently teaches cognitive principles to students and players at various universities. He said “players should always ask, ‘what do I want to do next’, and realize the value of networking, seeing what you can do for someone who helps you.” He told me players nowadays don’t realize how rare it is to have a long career in the NFL, with the average career span being 4 years, and how important it is to plan.
I also talked to Kyries Hebert, formerly of the Cincinatti Bengals, who runs his own foundation, the Ky Cares foundation. He said he is trying to meet as many people as possible to help him with the foundation, as this is his primary income (he currently plays for the Hamilton Tiger Cats). It was amazing to see the contrast between someone like him, and a current Cincinatti Bengals player I met during that night, who thought he could do anything because he played for the Bengals. (uh, dude, you’re in Dallas??) We’ll see where that player is in 4 years.
Our final event was the Leigh Steinberg party at Eddie Dean’s Ranch. As I figured, Steinberg put on a huge show with plenty of celebrities and athletes (Serena Williams, HOFer Rayfield Wright, Charles Haley, etc.). Obviously, there was some great Texas BBQ, and sports memorabilia for all to see and bid on (for charity). The party benefitted the Wounded Warriors Foundation, and it certainly was a great time. We did not have much time to talk with the celebrities; instead we conversed with a radio station from San Antonio about their experiences on Radio Row (where the media is all week) and the celebrity guests they interviewed. If there is one place I want to go to at a future Super Bowl, it is definitely Radio Row, since I’m a huge sports media guy (someday, I want to have my own time slot on a sports radio show- check out my tweets for further proof-@adamrosenfield)
We did not go to any parties Saturday night due to some logistical issues, but I want to thank Darren and Sports Agent Blog for the opportunity, and hope for many more to wet my sports appetite. Next up, the Final Four in Houston.