Jay Glazer responds to critics; best and worst of the week
Jay Glazer says he will still report objectively on Matt Leinart
Adam Schefter's departure from NFL Network remains a mystery
Ken Tremendous discusses why he joined Twitter
Each week, SI.com's Richard Deitsch will report on newsmakers from the world of TV, radio and the Web.
Fox Sports reporter Jay Glazer often refers to procuring stories as "scoopage," and over the past two years his reporting diligence has resulted in some major scoopage for his employers, from news of Brett Favre's trade to the Jets to obtaining a copy of the Patriots' Spygate videotape.
Glazer's philosophy is to invest in people and relationships, and few reporters are more connected within the NFL players' ranks. The connection extends far beyond the playing field. A mixed martial arts fighter away from football, Glazer trained Vikings defensive end Jared Allen last year; Arizona quarterback Matt Leinart is currently training with him three or four times per week. Which brings up the obvious question: Is training a player you cover crossing a line between reporter and subject?
"The No. 1 thing in my job is a) get my stuff right, and I have done that, and b) get the scoop, and clearly I have done that without a doubt," Glazer told SI.com. "Some people have criticized me for getting close [with players], but my job is to get the fans scoops and information and the real inside story, and that comes from relationships. ... My entire career has been built on relationships. I have done mixed martial arts for a while, and guys are coming to me now. ... My job is not to say whether I think Matt Leinart will be a bust or not; that's for columnist and analysts. My job is to find out what is going on inside each locker room, to get the Spygate video, to find out when Tony Dungy retires or when Brett Favre retired for the first of 90 times. It's my job to have that first, and that all comes from relationships."
His bosses agree. Asked about Glazer's training NFL players, Fox NFL Sunday coordinating producer Scott Ackerson said the network has absolutely no problems with it.
"If you are an idiot, Jay will still kill you," Ackerson said. "I have no issues with it because in the past with people he has relationships with, regarding stories that might not be the most favorable for that person, he reports it. ... Look, today everything is about access and relationships. Brian Williams got that interview [with President Obama] why? Because he has a relationship with Barack Obama or the people in Barack Obama's camp.
"If I thought for a second, which I don't, that Jay's relationships were slanting how he reports stuff, then it would be an issue. But that has never happened in the time that Jay has been here, and I don't expect that to happen in the time he will be here."
Glazer and longtime friend Randy Couture recently started a business called MMA Athletics, a training program (designed by Couture and his coaches) for pro athletes that will be housed in a Las Vegas facility called Extreme Couture. "Basically, what we have done for Jared and Matt," Glazer said, "we are opening up to all pro athletes in any sport."
On the subject of his subjects, Glazer said he reports only two or three percent of what his sources tell him.
"That's how you have to do your job as an insider," he said. "You can't put everything out there, because you have to work your relationship. You want to talk about objectivity? Guys have written books with players and been paid large sums of money, some of the biggest mainstream guys out there. I would think that would make you a lot more subjective than what I am doing, wouldn't you?"
MOVE OF THE WEEK
The worst-kept secret in NFL broadcasting circles was finally revealed last week when ESPN announced the hiring of former NFL Network reporter Adam Schefter. The reporter had not appeared on the NFL Net since March because of a contract dispute. He will make his ESPN debut Aug. 17 during coverage of the Giants-Panthers preseason game.
"I feel a little like Michael Vick under house arrest," Schefter said, though happily playing Mr. Mom in Long Island with his son, Devon, 9, and 8-month-old daughter, Dylan.
Schefter will be stationed in Long Island with appearances in Bristol on Sunday and Monday. He becomes one of 1,237 NFL experts on the ESPN payroll.
"Just because the Yankees are loaded doesn't mean they will not pursue other free agents," Schefter said. "This is kind of what this is like. ESPN doesn't need me. ESPN has been in existence for a long time. But what they will be getting is somebody that is incredibly passionate and loves his job and lives his job."
Schefter rightfully earned the reputation as one of the NFL Net's best assets. Why didn't it work out with the network?
"You'd have to ask them that," Schefter said. "I don't mean to wimp out on you there. It was a long, disappointing process. I had wanted to stay there and I love many of the people there. It is a great place to work and I wish them the best. They can answer why it didn't work out. I'm sure they have their own explanations."
We asked the NFL Network for their explanation and here is what we received: "We wish Adam well," a spokesperson said.
THEY SAID IT, PART I
"They have John Clayton, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, they have Ed Werder, they have all these guys and women, and not only does Jay consistently kick their butt, but Jay is right. I mean, I'm not going to mention names in terms of who, what and where, but this whole Brett Favre thing has been a comedy of errors."
THEY SAID IT PART, II
"Did your brother get laid in high school?"
THEY SAID IT PART, III
"I don't feel one bit of my age. I may be 70 but I'll match my energy with any young 20-year-old, and I act about 12. I love what I'm doing and I hope to do it until I'm 95. They are going to have to tear me away from the microphone screaming or drag me out of a studio or game site."