Nobody has ever had Scott Smith shout “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” into a telephone — yet.
But the 1989 Riley High School grad’s career path doesn’t differ greatly from the portrayal by actor Tom Cruise in the movie “Jerry McGuire.”
NFL agent strikes out on his own.
Life imitates art?
After high school, the South Bend native was a strapping 5-foot-10, 220-pound outside linebacker/defensive end for the Wabash College football team.
“I was a bit undersized,” he said, stating the obvious.
What does a guy do with a philosophy degree from Wabash? Go to Valparaiso University Law School, of course.
While at Wabash, he met a girl named Shawn (a Valpo undergrad who grew up in northern Wisconsin) through mutual friends. They continued dating, and married in 1996.
Scott graduated from law school and Shawn earned her master’s in public administration.
The next logical move? To Boulder, Colo., where they both waited tables for a year.
“We wanted to experience a new lifestyle, so we moved to Colorado,” Scott said.
A regular lunch diner finally hired Scott to join his two-person law firm.
“My first case was a very contentious divorce case,” Scott said. “There was a lot of bitterness. It lasted close to two years. After that, I decided I didn’t want to be involved in litigation.”
After getting an advanced tax law degree, Scott found himself with a large law firm in Denver. Shawn was the head of marketing for the Denver Rescue Mission.
The Denver firm was just beginning to become involved with managing sports personalities. Scott found his niche, learning the business from an established NFL agent who had been added to the firm.
“I would just sit and listen in all the meetings,” Scott said.
That first year, the Denver firm secured representation for 16 draft-eligible players.
“I did a lot of the legwork,” Scott said. “I set up their training to get ready for the (NFL) Combine; went to their pro (workout) days; went to all-star games. I was in New Orleans for about two months.”
At the same time, Shawn was becoming acquainted with Denver-area professional athletes, who would do charity work for the Rescue Mission.