It took 10 years. Howie Roseman graduated from Fordham Law School and wrote letters to NFL franchises, insisting that he belonged in the NFL. Joe Banner, President of the Philadelphia Eagles, decided to bring Roseman in to assist with salary cap issues. There was no salary for Roseman (he was an unpaid intern), nowhere to put him (they didn’t even offer him a desk) but at the age of 24, Howie Roseman was in the NFL!
All the NFL teams had begun getting Roseman’s letters while he was still in high school in Marlboro, N.J., in Monmouth County. His persistence stepped up when he was an undergraduate at the University of Florida through his time at Fordham Law prior to graduation.
Roseman would study the bios of NFL front-office personnel, looking for anybody who might provide an in. At the faintest pulse of interest, he’d call administrative assistants, getting to know several by name.
Roseman’s job inquiries had gone largely unacknowledged, even unnoticed. While the rest of the NFL ignored Roseman, Mike Tannenbaum, the pro personnel director of the Jets, spoke to him.
He explained why: “I’ve got five minutes. The only reason I’m even going to spend five minutes . . . I look at my resumé file, I have 20 letters from you, and every time I send you a rejection, you’d send a thank you for the rejection.” One early brush-off from Banner at the Eagles stated, “We don’t have anything, but we’ll keep you in mind for summer opportunities.’ ”
“That was like a yes to me,” Roseman said.
Roseman’s perseverance got him noticed behind the closed doors, at least a couple of them. Whether this was a positive development was still to be determined. Roseman had become kind of a running joke between a couple of NFL executives, Banner of the Eagles and Tannenbaum of the Jets.
“Could somebody be that persistent and be normal?” Tannenbaum, now the Jets’ general manager, said recently, thinking back to Roseman’s job hunt.
Banner had the same question. Eagles fans and the media have similar questions. Is this a fantasy football player from the 700 Level knocking on the door to get a job with and NFL – and getting one? Flatly, no. This is an educated man, truly a fan of the game, who put his career options on hold to pursue something that he wanted very badly. Some critics blast Roseman because he “has never played a down” or “has never put on shoulder pads” but how many former players and coaches really make proficient GMs? Ozzie Newsome is a rare exception as are Mike Holmgren and Bill Parcells. How did Matt Millen do? How about Webster Slaughter? Mike Ditka and Dan Reeves made excellent coaches but had varied paths when given more responsibility. Name me three other successful former players who made good executives! Former players CAN make good coaches or good commentators but who says that former players and coaches make good executives? Some local media dissonants (who will remain nameless for now) claim that to be a good GM you have to play football on some level – even HIGH SCHOOL! College dropouts who were proficient at catching a ball or tackling make better business decisions than graduates of Fordham? Puh-freaking-LEEZE spare me this circuitous and idiotic logic! It has worked in major league baseball and the NBA. Every situation is unique. Saying that former players make better executives than educated, intelligent, academic sports fans is like going back to the days of claiming that “a black quarterback cannot succeed in the NFL.” How did that one work out?
Let the man prove himself. We’ll have plenty of time to rip him if he is unsuccessful. I will post a personal request to Mr. Roseman. “Please do NOT bring back Terrell Owens!” Good luck Mr. Roseman. You’re an Eagle so please show us what you can do. We want to win. Fly Eagles Fly!
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org