I hate to say it, but I’ve always believed it, that to make it to virtually any level of pro, or semi-pro in many cases is 75% ability, and 25% of the quality of your networking/connections are. The trick is to get the attention of those who simply matter. If someone doesn’t drop your name on the desk, you are at the whims of the other 75%. Just think of all the father/son/brother combos that have played (ALL sports, all leagues I am talking here), where one was great and the son or brother stunk or was mediocre at best.
I believe (of course, this doesn’t need to be said) that “connected” Coaches are also quite influnetial.
For example, IMO, if HC Rich Rodriguez of Michigan was to call up ET to drop a name to watch, ET would probably file it right into the trash can. But if OC Ole’ Miss coach was to call up ET with the exact same name, he would give it some serious thought.
One of the best examples I can think of is in hockey, does anyone for a moment think Keith Gretzky had talent at any level? And now, he is Director of Amateur Scouting for, guess who? The Phoenix Coyotes! Wonder how he got that job? Rick Campbell would never have coached in the CFL if it wasn’t for his old man IMO. I reluctantly put Jesse Lumsden in this catagory because at least he has immense talent, did his thing with the NFL, but I don’t think he ever would have gotten a shot with Edmonton if it wasn’t for the sake of Neil, considering how injury prone he is of late. (P.S. that broke my heart watching that shoulder dislocate…I am a fan of that guy!).
So, IMO, without serious connections, you won’t get noticed unless you are at the top of the pack in athletism. CFLISTHEBEST is right, open tryouts but you knew that already. I wasn’t aware anyone was doing them anymore in the CFL.