Eleven months out of every year, Omaha, Nebraska is your typical midwestern All-American city. Recently named by Kiplinger.com as the #1 city in America to raise your kids, Omaha is by all accounts a big city with a wholesome small-town atmosphere. That will all change for about three weeks in late June and early July. The city, as it has done every year since 1950, will host the NCAA Men's Division I College World Series, welcoming the top eight college baseball teams in the country to the heartland. This year, however, Omaha is also home to the U.S. Olympic Swimming trials.
It seems as if there have been a large number of former athletes, NFL players in particular, who have experienced financial and personal difficulties. One of those athletes has been record-setting receiver Terrell Owens, who fired his agent today. The difficulties these athletes face have led to everything from bankruptcy to sadly, sometimes suicide. All talk of the effects of concussions aside, there seems to be a bigger issue here.
One of the first things any pro athlete does upon declaring themselves a professional is to hire an agent. Agents are supposed to handle accounting and legal issues, negotiate contracts, and provide advice about signing deals.
In addition, they also market the athlete (they call them clients) to certain businesses in order to maximize exposure and gain endorsements. All of this for between 3 and 10 percent of the total amount of cash an athlete earns.
The nature of the sports agency business forces them to be concerned about one thing: the bottom line. The vast majority of agents are just looking for their own payday.
Until last night, the sports world had been mesmerized by the play of the San Antonio Spurs during this year's NBA playoffs.
Every once in a while, a team with more raw talent will step up and take one from them, as we saw Thursday. More often than not, however, the Spurs are going to be the better team on the floor.
Pundits across the nation have been quick to chime in about how the Spurs are achieving this level of success because they are playing the game the way it was meant to be played: As a team. They are only half right.
We all know Tim Duncan, a.k.a The Big Fundamental has always been technically sound. That alone has led many to believe he is one of the greatest to ever play and certainly the greatest power forward of all time.
What about the rest of the team? To a man, guys like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, and Tiago Splitter are nothing close to fundamentally sound. There is, however, a familiarity of sorts in their style of play. Anyone who watches international soccer can see it right away.