Entrepreneurialism 101: From Couch to the NFL

Who knew there was a fast track from the Frisco RoughRiders to the Green Bay Packers?
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At 21 I had ambition. I had goals.

I wanted to win the sports trivia contest at UTA’s Dry Gulch every Thursday night. I wanted to find the sonofabitch who stole two radar detectors out of my Fiero. And I desperately wanted to find a way to get paid for going to sporting events.

But Dane Brugler, he’s shooting a little higher.

You don’t know his name yet. But sooner or later – probably sooner – the 21-year-old operations coordinator for the Frisco RoughRiders will be telling you who the Dallas Cowboys should draft. And you’ll be listening.

I bumped into Brugler Saturday night before my C-plus TV appearance on TXA 21. (I didn’t force the producer to scramble for the dump button, but I coulda had a B if not for mistakenly linking Tom Selleck to Hawaii Five-O instead of his Magnum, P.I. Hawaiian shirts. Screw me.) Anyway, the kid is an NFL Draft nerd from Division III Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio who has wedged his way into an interview with the Green Bay Packers this week.

He became fascinated with analyzing talent in high school, got up at 3 a.m. to watch ESPNU college football replays during college and now – while sleeping on the couch of a RoughRiders’ employee – has produced a spiffy 150-page draft guide as his resume.

It’s impressive, honestly. He over-worked his computer and spent a whopping $40 at Staples to print 15 of the books, mailing eight of them to NFL teams. (By the way, his mock draft nailed the Cowboys taking Felix Jones in the first round.)

“I just love analyzing talent, and I think I’ve become pretty good at it,” Brugler says. “Except for the logos and photos, the book is 100 percent me and my information.”

Couple weeks after his wing, prayer and mass mailing, Brugler got an email from Packers’ Director of College Scouting John Dorsey. Of the 1,500 similar packages Green Bay received, Brugler’s was one of the best eight. A 10-minute phone call pushed him into the top five, and now the Packers are flying him up for a face-to-face where he’ll do some evaluations and, in the end, a presentation to team officials.

Norm Hitzges, eat your heart out. -- Richie Whitt

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