It’s 3 a.m. and Sonny Sportsbuck’s head has just hit the pillow. His #1 client, Duke Beefaroni, got blindsided on the field at tonight’s game by a linebacker even bigger than him (right: hard to imagine) and Duke is at the city’s best hospital with a concussion and a possible torn rotator cuff. It could signal the end of the season for Duke, but hopefully not for his career. Sonny just got young Duke a screaming five-year great deal with the Seattle Seahawks and it’s The Beef’s first Monday night out. Everything was witnessed by Monday Night football fans.
Sonny falls asleep next to his wife, high school sweetheart and tennis partner, Venus (they’re all the same woman, of course), and dreams the dreams of an exhausted sports agent: none. Just the blissful, pooped-out sleep of a worn, wrung-out man.
The alarm goes off at 6 a.m. Sonny drags his oh-so-less-than-rested body out of his warm bed and climbs onto his elliptical machine. (Years of playing sports himself has done Sonny’s knees a disservice and the elliptical is his and his orthopedist’s compromise: No running in circles around the local track anymore; just running in circles.)
Sonny showers, shovels down his Wheaties, and as he’s dressing, getting ready to head to the hospital to check on his client, the young, talented and injured Beefaroni, his business phone rings. It’s the team’s doctor - it appears that with some rest and physical therapy, Duke won’t need surgery and should be back on the field, terrorizing quarterbacks in 4-6 weeks. He’s checking out of the hospital this morning. Good news—for now.
Sonny rethinks his plans for the day. He pops the Bluetooth earpiece on, hops into his Suburban, calls his assistant and tells him to reschedule the morning’s meeting that was originally cancelled because of the events of last night. (Sonny is determined to get that New Nikibok contract for Shoeless Moe Smackdown, his top MMA client.)
After a successful morning’s meeting at the local IHOP (man, for a multimillion sponsor, New Nikibok sure presents itself as a cheapster), Sonny, with a stomach full of gurgling flapjacks and overcooked eggs, feels emboldened as he heads to the office to see what he already knows is on the table for today: First it’s a multi-agent contract bidding war - that college senior who first led his middle school, then his high school and then college teams to national championships is on the table and Sonny is, by God, not going to miss out on the chance of signing this young buck.
Then a meeting with one of his older NFL players who’s wondering if he should take his money and run out the season before he leaves pro sports for good, or get ready for next year and see who wants him since his contract with his current team has run out. Sonny rather hopes the old guy (he is 38, after all) would decide to sit it out, buy a car dealership or restaurant, enjoy his after-career golden years. Too many injuries these last few years have taken their toll.
Now that the pancakes and eggs have settled, it’s time for lunch—a working one. Sonny and a few other agents in his boutique firm are getting together to discuss this year’s strategic goals. Sonny handles most of the NFL players while the other guys (and one gal—who hates to be called a gal for whatever reason) represent athletes from just about every league you can think of: the NHL, MBA, NBA, WNBA, the National Lacrosse League (small but growing in popularity), and Major League Soccer.
All the agents are assembled in a conference room, boxed lunches are handed out by assistants and interns, whiteboards are filled up with plans and scrapped plans and every so often an agent leaves the room to answer a call…or two…or five.
Before Sonny heads home for the night, he stops by Duke Beefaroni’s house to see how the big guy is doing. His wife answers the door, her face visibly more relieved than the last time Sonny saw her, at the hospital last night. Sonny makes some small talk with Duke, and before he leaves, assures him his job will be waiting for him once he’s gone through physical therapy and is back on his feet.
After dinner that night, as Venus and Sonny are climbing into bed, Sonny’s business phone rings. Venus gives him a look. Sonny Sportsbuck turns his phone off—for now.