Sunday, February 19, 2006 - It's Funny Who You Meet at The Gym

I just got back from working out at the gym. As the facility is smack in the middle of the Lake Merritt Neighborhood of Oakland, everyone comes there. But few really know each other because, well, some folks don't talk much. Now, I'll have to say the African Americans there talk to everyone and each other, so we pretty much know who the other black person is.

But I digress.. I met this cool lady who I joke with once and awhile, as our conversations started when we were in the same room as this guy who, in trying to park his car, almost ran into me. So I called him on it in a very friendly way, and she and I started talking, but I never knew what she did.

Well, today, I found out that she runs a company called "Exhale" and they have a talk line for women who have abortions. It's a really novel idea that frankly I never considered personally but is very logical. It's been in existence since 2000 and has this website at where you can learn more about them and contribute online.

Go do it!

NFL-Bound Texas QB Vince Young Already Making Critical Business Mistakes

Not even days before the NFL Draft and Vince Young's making critical business errors that could negatively impact both the position where he's selected in the draft and his overall endorsement income.

While Matt Leinart, Young's NCAA Football National Championship Game counterpart, makes his meetings and shows up at events like Leigh Steinberg's A-List Party, shaking hands and chatting with everyone including this author, Young misses meetings.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Young hired a family attorney to be his agent and his uncle to handle his business matters. Neither have NFL experience, and according to the article...

"several companies have expressed interest in talking to Mr. Young about endorsement deals, including MasterCard, American Express, Nike, Reebok and the urban clothier Rocco Wear.
Former Dallas Cowboys scouting director Gil Brandt knows that Reebok is one of the companies, because Mr. Brandt helped set up a meeting between Mr. Young's team and Reebok officials in Detroit on the Saturday before Super Bowl XL.
According to Mr. Brandt, Mr. Young and his management team never showed for the meeting, and it had to be rescheduled.
"Promise and responsibility are big things," said Mr. Brandt, who talks to Texas juniors in Austin every year about their NFL options at coach Mack Brown's request. "And if you have a business meeting set up, you've got to make sure you're at the meeting because people are anxious at spending large amounts of money."
Mr. Brandt also gave Mr. Young, Mr. Adams and Keith Young tickets to a party thrown by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue before the Super Bowl. Mr. Brandt did the same for USC quarterback Matt Leinart.
"Leinart was there, dressed nicely and making a big impression on everyone he met," Mr. Brandt said. "I didn't see Vince there. Everybody who's anybody is at the commissioner's party. When you impress somebody, it opens a lot of doors. All these things, Vince has kind of missed the boat on."
Keith Young and Mr. Adams didn't respond to calls seeking comment on Mr. Brandt's statements. Last week, they said they're simply taking their time and working at their own pace. They said they don't want to rush into any deals."

This is a remarkable error. First, if anyone gives you a ticket to the NFL Commissioners Party, you take it and go. Every heavy hitter in sports and its related industries is there. What Vince's family fails to understand is that the part of the sports business they're in rests on relationships. If I were them, I'd call Gil Brandt and do some fence mending.