See a college football player smoking marijuana with the help of a gas mask isn’t particularly shocking… at least not as shocking as discovering that Jimmy Sexton isn’t perfect.
An assistant for Jimmy Sexton, the most powerful agent in football, stood face to face with a client, Laremy Tunsil, the 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman from the University of Mississippi, in a crowded media room in the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University on Thursday night.
Tunsil had just been selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 13th pick in the first round of the N.F.L. draft. But he was also suddenly at the center of one of the biggest calamities in draft history. Sexton’s assistant, Amy Milam, prepped Tunsil for the onslaught he was about to experience. Sweat was pouring off his brow as soon as reporters began lobbing questions.
After a couple of minutes of questioning, Milam, maybe a foot shorter than Tunsil, quickly barged forward, declared the interview over and pushed him to the door.
The N.F.L. draft, the league’s glitziest showpiece after the Super Bowl, has long produced cringe-worthy drama when highly regarded players arepassed over. The farther someone’s stock falls on draft night, with millions of TV viewers watching, the greater the spectacle.
But what happened on Thursday night was an “Are you watching this?” misadventure for the league akin to Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show — but in the social-media age.
And this time, the wardrobe involved a bong attached to a gas mask.
Even so, Sexton’s dark cloud wound up having a silver lining.
The draft often serves as a demonstration of Sexton’s formidable status in the sport as his clients are paraded across the podium to greet the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, and to hold up their new team’s jersey. On Thursday, those celebratory images were overtaken by a player in a gas mask.
Sexton has a stable of college and pro clients including Alabama Coach Nick Saban, Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher, the former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
His ties to the Dolphins are particularly deep. He helped arrange Saban’s abrupt departure from the Dolphins to the Crimson Tide in 2007, and herepresents the former executives Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland, as well as the former coach Tony Sparano and the Dolphins’ current coach, Adam Gase, who was hired in January.
The team’s executive vice president of football operations, Mike Tannenbaum, has a strong relationship with Sexton…
Man, you just can’t keep a super-agent down.
You can already hear Jimmy’s next sales pitch, can’t you: “Hey, if I can manage to get Tunsil a $12 million contract an hour after he’s caught bonging pot with a gas mask, imagine what I can get for you!”
Don’t forget this man is Kirby Smart’s agent. Greg McGarity may need a gas mask of his own in the next round of contract negotiations.