In 1991, Jay Glazer had the first important assignment of his career: escorting Mike Francesa to and from the bathroom at the NFL Draft.
“Not gonna lie: copped a couple of peeks,” Glazer joked on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It’s amazing. He should be in porn. He really should.”
Glazer, 46, may seem like a comedian, but he’s not. He’s become, over the last 25 years, one of the most trusted and most popular NFL insiders in the business, thanks in large part to his unique ability to badger people not but annoy them.
Yes, he’s almost like a little brother: he’ll pester you, but it’s endearing.
“First of all, you can’t get mad at me because I’m not going to take you seriously anyway,” Glazer said. “You got be persistent. I don’t know if I don’t annoy (people). I think I’m pretty annoying. But as a reporter, what do you do? You report, you bond, you build relationships. I’m a relationship broker. My job is to get fans what really is happening – not the garbage, not the B.S. – and you kind of broker information. As long as you don’t take yourself too seriously, you’re okay. Like, we’re just in sports. Who gives a crap? That’s all we are. We’re not changing lives. We’re escapism.”
Glazer remembers getting life and career advice from his father at a young age: Son, you’re not very intelligent and you’re not very good-looking, but if you’re loyal and outwork people, you’ll be successful.
“I said to myself a long time ago, ‘I’ll be the last man standing,’” Glazer said. “I just try to be different now.”
Glazer said he has an immediate bond with some players and coaches, but not all. Sometimes it takes time.
“It’s a trust factor,” he said. “There are certain guys – Michael Strahan and I in 1993, boom, first moment. It was love-hate at first sight. Thank God for that relationship. It was instant and we just got each other. There are other guys. People know I’m close with John Fox. When the Giants first hired him, the staff was given everyone’s pictures – the reporters’ pictures – from the PR staff. Mine had a big red X through it saying ‘Do not talk to.’ Fox was horrified for like two years to talk to me.”
Glazer, however, approached Fox one day and said he heard that defensive end Keith Hamilton had a partially torn labrum. Fox admitted that it was true but asked Glazer not to report it; Fox feared that opponents would target Hamilton, who could tear the labrum entirely. Glazer vowed not to report the injury – just as long as Fox came to him first if Hamilton were to need surgery. Fox agreed.
Some reporters might criticize Glazer for not reporting information. Glazer didn’t – and doesn’t – see it that way.
“It’s just football,” he said. “That’s all we are. We’ve gotten to the point now where we take ourselves way too seriously. Football has become like the social conscience. Are you kidding me? I can report more than anybody else. I’ve got no vested interest. Other guys will go the other way (and say), ‘All right, you don’t talk to me? You’re not telling me anything anymore? I’m going after you.’ They’re not objective. They’re the same ones questioning me, but you look at my track record over the years against anybody else – hey, I’m good with that. I can go to sleep at night knowing that I got a pretty damn good accuracy rate.”