by John Kincade
I’ve always been a believer that there is your career, THEN comes your side hustle. In my own business life I’ve experienced this and always attempted to master it. Before I became a sports talk radio host full-time, I only hosted on the weekends. On weekdays I focused on building a career in an industry that had nothing to do with radio. When I left that world in 1999 I took two part time TV/Radio jobs but had a pretty full calendar. The next year I started a full time radio job and I kept a part time TV job in the NHL. Then I was able to add a 3rd job filling in as a host on ESPN Radio nationally. That led to a permanent hosting job weekly on ESPN Radio in addition to my full time show. It was a juggling act. 15 years of my life I worked 3 jobs and I’ve always worked at least 2 until the last few years. The grind can be exhausting but my first focus was always on my primary job. That was the one where I had to show successful efforts. I’ve always wondered why that focus seems to be lost to many in this generation of athletes. Build the success, then cultivate the brand.
I know Jalen Hurts is a tireless worker. Everyone around the Eagles sings his praises. He’s a great leader. What hasn’t happened yet is the on field success. The team has had a moderate level with a playoff berth and a (9-8) record in 2021. Hurts himself is among the bottom half of QB’s in the NFL. When I saw him show up with the custom hat with his slogan and logo on it yesterday, I cringed a bit.
I remember Randall Cunningham showing up with his “Let Me Be Me” hat and worrying about the off field “brand”. He was certainly hampered with some mediocre offensive coaching, but his focus (or lack thereof) was always a discussion point. Then we had the AO1 Foundation of Carson Wentz. It’s great to want to do things in the community, but those efforts require time and attention. Wentz had the success on the field but reportedly spent no time investing in relationships within his own locker room. Those connections with teammates never materialized here or in Indianapolis and apparently are holding him back.
I am absolutely not comparing Hurts to Cunningham or Wentz. They both looked better at this point in their development, but Hurts has a leadership quality and work ethic that dwarfs what we saw from these men early on. That’s very promising and I’m most certainly helpful. I just don’t want to see anything distract him from the goal. I’ve witnessed Eagles quarterbacks that somehow had the skill set but couldn’t put it all together here. If Hurts does I truly believe we can see a parade. If he takes his eye at all off the ball, well at least he will have those cool logo hats.