Gary Shelton Darrell Fry
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The only good agent is a fictional agent
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 13, 2000
As you might have guessed, doctor, I have this problem with agents. Some days I want to tar and feather them, and other days I figure, heck, why waste the feathers?
They annoy me, Doc. I can't help it.
I am tired of agents cruising campuses to try to persuade athletes to turn pro. I am weary of agents who hold out players under contract. I am worn out by agents who demand trades. I'm tired of Tank, Drew, Master P and the rest of them.
Wait. Hold that thought. Turns out there is one agent I like. His name is Myron Bolitar, and what he has going for him is this: Someone made him up.
Bolitar, if you haven't caught up to him, is the brainchild of author Harlan Coben. Bolitar allegedly is a sports agent, although every time he gets near an athlete, a mystery breaks out, and Bolitar has to solve it with the help of friends, employees and an unhealthy knowledge of '70s television. If Miss Marple and Leigh Steinberg had a son, it would be Myron.
And so, because I've never interviewed a made-up character before (unless you count Dennis Rodman), I thought you might want to get to know Myron (through Coben, of course). Who knows? If we're nice enough, maybe he'll shoot Arliss.
So here goes. With apologies to Anne Rice, I call it Interview With a Bloodsucker:
Q: Myron, do you think being a fictional character holds you back as an agent, or do you think Drew Rosenhaus has shown it can be done?
Q: What do you think hurts you most as an agent -- that you have such a small office or that many of your clients seem to end up, well, dead?
Q: What do you think of agents such as Tank Black, who is being sued by his clients for squandering millions of dollars?
Q. In Darkest Fear, your new novel (released today), you find out you have an illegitimate son. Will this help you sign Evander Holyfield as a client?
Q: Art Modell, Al Davis and Jerry Jones are in a room, and you have only two darts. Where do you throw?
Q: Finish this sentence: I'd love to represent Mike Tyson, but I'd rather ...
Q: Jerry Maguire became famous by yelling "Show me the money." Has an owner ever shown you the money?
Q. Which athlete would you most like to represent and why?
Q: And least?
Q. Ed Asner was an athlete?
Q. Rumor has it you were once Dennis Rodman's agent. Does that explain the evening gown incident?
Q: Do agents get a discount on gold chains?
Q: An agent called Florida sophomore Mike Miller 45 times during the college basketball season. What do you suppose they talked about?
Q: Are bullets billable to the client or do you simply deduct them from your taxes?
Q: Your agency includes two women who wrestled professionally. Does that reflect your taste in women?
Q: If Jeffrey Dahmer ran a 4.4 40-yard dash, how fierce would the competition be to be his agent?
Q: Should there be a Hall of Fame for agents, and if so, where should it be located?
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