Each week during the 2023 season, we’re going through the Eagles media guide to find an interesting nugget.
The Eagles’ PR interns do a great job filling out these little oddities in the media guide and they serve as a good way to meet the players behind the helmets.
This week, we chatted with linebacker Shaq Leonard, whose first job was at a car wash and now he owns a car wash business.
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Me: What was your experience like? How old were you when you first worked there?
Leonard: When I first started working, I was 13, working in South Carolina at a car wash. Then once I got older, made it to the NFL, started my own car wash business called Maniac Magic, back in Lake View, South Carolina. We come to wherever you’re at so we’re not stationed in a town. We’ll go to you while you’re at work and wash whatever vehicle you have for us. And get the job done.
Me: Oh, OK.
Leonard: I think it just goes back to my rudiments of hard work and not asking for a handout, just doing the hard labor and just helping the guys out back at home with some extra money.
Me: What were your responsibilities as a kid working at a car wash?
Leonard: Honestly, since that was my first one, it was more cleaning out the cars. I had the hard job. You know how it is when you’re working with older people. They want you to do all the dirty work. Just trying to clean the car as much as I can. It’s kind of hard to get all the little dirt, the grains of dirt out of the car. Just scrubbing on the door jams and everything to make sure that the car looked brand new.
Me: How long did you work there?
Leonard: Um, a couple months. It was a summer job. I worked there for maybe one or two months at the most. Then once football season started back in July, that’s when I stopped.
Me: Do you think that was the beginning of you learning the value of hard work?
Leonard: Yeah, I mean, it was my brother always told me never ask for a handout. So it was early thoughts of going to work for everything and understanding labor and what it means to wake up and have to be somewhere at 7:30, early. And just earning your own money. It feels good when you have your own money, you don’t have to ask your mom or anybody for something. It just taught me how to be independent a little bit. And still to this day, just don’t want a handout. Want to come in and work extremely hard for everything and let the chips fall where they fall at.
Me: And when you started your business, how long ago was that? And what gave you the idea?
Leonard: I started it maybe 2 1/2 years ago. Just sitting around the with guys, my friends. We talk about how can we help out, how can we grow. Once you’re at the top, you want to bring people to the top with you and these guys wanted to work. I knew that this was an easy job and something that I could bring them to. And put my friends and family with a job and helping them out. That’s my biggest thing, bringing my guys up who have been there with me from Day 1 to the top with me.
Me: It’s going pretty well?
Leonard: Oh yeah, it’s good. The business is going well. Of course right now it’s pretty cold. When the weather hits, that’s when things kind of slow down a little bit. So it’s a little slow right now. But in the summer time we probably get, maybe, 10-12 cars per day. So I think we do well, especially being in a small market. So, yeah, I’m happy with where we’re at.
Me: Thank you, man.
Leonard: Thank you.