Nothing has changed.
At that time, he was still in Duke Law School, but it was while studying for his undergraduate degree at the University of Miami – his hometown – where he was first inspired to represent athletes.
In fact, it was an athlete who inspired him. Michael Irvin, a star receiver for the ‘Canes and Rosenhaus’ friend, liked how the aspiring agent was able to relate to the young football players, according to the AP.
Rosenhaus tutored Miami football players in those days. But to know Rosenhaus is to wonder why he did so. Mostly likely because it gave him the inside track on … something.
Even if he hadn’t yet decided to enter the sports world, it would benefit him – and anyone, for that matter – to hang around football stars at “The U.” They were the big men on campus, a place where Rosenhaus aspired to be.
“I try to use my age and enthusiasm as a strong point,” he told the AP. “The art of persuasion is my life. Every day I try to become a more articulate, efficient, persuasive speaker.”
Right there is where he added the part about loving to hear himself speak – as if you didn’t know it already.
But that’s the thing about Rosenhaus – he really does love to hear himself speak, even if it’s to tell you that he loves to do so.
And that’s when he has got you where he wants you. You’re listening to him. At that point, you never know what will happen.
After interning for a Miami sports agent named Mel Levine with help from “The Playmaker,” Rosenhaus decided to become his own agent in 1989 at the age of just 22. He secured an audience with cornerback Robert Massey, the New Orleans Saints’ second-round draft pick out of nearby North Carolina Central whom he set up a meeting with in a dorm room. During his bargaining session with the Saints over a contract, Rosenhaus used a tactic far ahead of its time – he brought an ESPN camera along with him.
Remember, ESPN was barely 10-years old. Reality shows weren’t on every channel. Heck, there weren’t that many channels. But Rosenhaus, while doing what he could for Massey, did it for himself as well.
“It’s amazing how he can get so much publicity for himself,” said Jim Finks, the Saints’ president and general manager, in the AP story. “He’s a pretty good operator.”
He operated well enough to move from one client to a host of NFL hopefuls in 1990. By 1994, he was one of the top agents in the business and wasn’t shy about letting others know it.
That year, the Miami Herald reported that Rosenhaus represented nine former ‘Canes and 11 Miami Dolphins. He called himself “the world’s best agent.”
At the time it was ridiculously premature and preposterous. Now nearly two decades later, it looks pretty prophetic considering Rosenhaus has now negotiated over $1 billion in NFL contracts and reportedly has over 100 clients in the league.
After all, we’re still still talking about him, aren’t we?