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The Man In The Middle

Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer opens up about his Richie Incognito interview, addressing his methodology in determining questions, answering his many critics and revealing his original plan included a joint sit-down with Jonathan Martin

By
Richard Deitsch
· More from Richard·

Jay Glazer’s exclusive sit-down interview with Richie Incognito last week was, in Glazer’s world, as big an interview get as we’ve seen this year in the NFL.

Before the interview, Glazer said he “held nothing back” and asked Incognito “everything.” Did he fulfill that charter? Peter King thought Glazer handled the interview well, Deadspin called the segment “more theater than journalism” and you can read my review for SI.com here. The initial interview that aired on FOX NFL Sunday lasted about six minutes. There have been nearly 15 minutes of the interview since released on FOX Sports Live and FOX Football Daily. The complete transcript and video can be found here.

On Monday, I caught up with Glazer because I think viewers and readers can benefit from Glazer’s answering why he made some of the choices he made on questions, and to further expand on his relationship with Incongito. As he always does, Glazer answered every question asked of him.

It’s 7:45 p.m. on Monday right now as we talk….

I’m f—– tired.

I’m sure you are. I want to start off with this: What has been the biggest misconception from this interview?

By far, there were absolutely zero restrictions going in. Nothing, okay. He never asked for one. I never asked him. In fact I told him straight out going into this: There is nothing that is off-limits. He said, I hear you. And I said, “No, no, no, I am telling you, there is nothing that is off-limits because I don’t want you getting up after one or two questions and storming out. I am just letting you know.” The last thing I want is a four-second interview on FOX NFL Sunday. He said, “Jay, if you held back and didn’t ask me, I would just have to answer it somewhere else. I’d rather you ask it.” I said Great. So I didn’t give him any questions [ahead of time]. There was no deal. In fact, his agent was against [the interview]. I have been working this, man, since he got suspended.

So how would you define the ground rules for this interview?

Zero. There were absolutely zero ground rules. Nothing. There were certain things I felt I should ask. There were certain things I felt I shouldn’t … Look, I knew going in the main things I wanted to hit were number one, the use of the n-word. I don’t care whether you say it is acceptable or not in locker rooms or anywhere else, I don’t think anyone either white or black should ever use the word. And I’m not on my high horse here. I hate the word. I think it should be completely out of the language, and the fact that it is used more and more today absolutely disgusts me. I can’t stand it. I think it’s awful our kids are growing up in a society where it is more and more acceptable. I hate to think that when my kid gets older, this will be part of the language.

What else?

No Calming The Storm

Despite the Incognito-Martin saga, the Dolphins remain in the playoff picture. But for how long? Jenny Vrentas reports from Miami. FULL STORY

I wanted to get bullying in. Like I said in the interview, whether he wants to think it or not, this guy is now labeled as the face of bullying in America. He is America’s bully. Number three, I wanted to get what happened with those guys and what the relationship was. What happened that day? I wanted to make sure I got the biggest controversies in this issue and especially the social part, the hazing. I wanted to hit all that. The controversies transcended sports. Then I wanted to make sure also that I did hammer him. I didn’t say, “Hey, are you a racist?” No, I said, “How do you expect me or anyone else to believe you are not?”

How was the setting [the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in L.A.] for the interview determined?

FOX set it up. I said I got the interview and the producers [Joel Santos and Bill Richards] set it up, which is normal. I saw some people said that it took place at his agent’s house or my house. Shoot, I wish that was my house. Are you kidding me? I wasn’t confident I absolutely had this interview until Saturday. I’m telling you, so much went into this. What I said to him was the court of public opinion closes on Monday. You want to testify or not? I’d want to. But come Monday, Richie, nobody is going to care what you have to say. It will be too late. This is what I would do. And I relayed a story that Ronde Barber told me. He said, I wish my brother [Tiki] had spoken up when he was getting crushed. I wish he defended himself in public. Because he didn’t, it was hard for me and the rest of my family to defend him as much as we wanted. I relayed that story to [Richie]. Whether you believe Richie or not, I want to hear from Richie Incognito. I want to hear from Jonathan Martin. Those are the only two guys who really know the story. Nobody else knows the story. I don’t care who has jumped in with opinions and that’s the problem with this whole thing. I broke this on FOX Football Daily originally, and I started hearing immediately from Jonathan’s people, from other players in that locker room, from people inside the Dolphins, from ex-Dolphins. I started getting all sides, but I did not want to jump out because I want to make sure I report facts. This story became so hot that anything you got, people put out there and it got taken to an extreme. It got lost in the fact that maybe this story is somewhere in the middle or maybe there are three sides. People got on this so fast and I see why because you are dealing with the n-word, you are dealing with bullying—it is hard not to get angry about it. I don’t blame people.

How was Incognito’s mood before the interview?

I tried to loosen him up a little bit. When he walked in he was nervous and stiff. I am used to being around him when he is not like that. He was really stiff and nervous and I would say kind of sullen. His head was down. You know me and my mouth. I said, “Man, with all that paparazzi [greeting him at the airport] you are like the Lindsay Lohan of football now.” He kind of looked at me like, Yeah, great, thanks.

You told the audience at the top of the interview that you have a relationship with Richie and had your people train him a couple of years ago as part of your work as a mixed martial arts trainer. Why were you the right person for this interview?

Jay Glazer, here with Larry Fitzgerald (left) and Jared Allen, does not apologize for having friendships with the athletes he covers. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
Jay Glazer, here with Larry Fitzgerald (left) and Jared Allen, does not apologize for having friendships with the athletes he covers. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

Because that is what I do. This is what I have done for how long? I get scoops. I get exclusives. This is what I do for a living, and I think I do it well. I think this is why FOX pays me. My job is to get scoops and exclusives, and I think I have done it as well as anybody. So it [relationships] has obviously not gotten in the way. I have come out with negative stories. I have come out with positive stories. I have come out with stuff where my own guys get really angry at me. The funny thing is, I am working with Brian Urlacher now (on FOX Sports 1). He got really pissed off with me with three years left in his career because I reported something about a back injury he had that he did not want out there. He never told me another piece of information ever again. People don’t know about that. I had to tell people he was not playing and was not himself. He didn’t say Don’t go with it. He just said I am not talking about it. But I had it. He was one of my closest friends in the league and his last three or four years I never got a piece of information from him. He was pissed about it.

It does not get in the way of what I do. People are like, Oh, my God, Jay has a relationship with Richie. I have a relationship with, like, 900 people in this league. That is my job. Adam Schefter, Peter King—you don’t think Peter King has relationships with people in this league? We all have relationships. That is what we do. We are in the relationship business. But nobody talks about that, and I have talked about it. People keep bringing it up with me when nobody brings it up with everybody else who has written books [with subjects].

You have always been public about these relationships, that’s fair…

Wait, let me tell you this too. Richie Incognito never, ever paid me a dime. The guy I set him up with was a fighter named Tyron Woodley, who by the way is an African-American UFC fighter. He is fighting this weekend. That is who I paired with Richie. Richie paid him. I never got a dime.

So let’s be specific here. You would say that training NFL players in MMA is not on face an economic partnership?

No, because I didn’t get paid. How is it an economic partnership? There are no economics involved. There is no money. How is it an economic partnership? He [Incognito] pays his trainer, this guy Tyron Woodley. I do not make a dime and never have. He does not pay me anything. Some guys get charged. Some guys don’t. The money goes to the fighters and the equipment. None of it goes to me. … These guys come out to train, and I have a great training program. I make either the players pay the fighters directly or if they pay MMA Athletics, I pay the fighters directly or I will use it for travel for the fighters or the equipment. But no, I have never, ever, ever made a dime off this. I have probably lost money. I do it because I love it. I don’t do it to make money. I do it because I try to promote this sport. … I have always been involved with it. I love mixed martial arts. I love it. It is my passion. It is what I love to do. Some people like to play chess or checkers to blow off steam. I like to fight. I like martial arts.

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36 comments
Rocky XXXIV
Rocky XXXIV

Let's face it Glazer is an insider phony. There's no two ways about it. He should cover that exclusive and interview himself. Clearly he jumped the shark with this half baked interview.

el-cid
el-cid

I love the b.s. about no economic partnership.  As if benefit has to be a direct transfer of cash.

OK
OK

A Skinhead pitches hasbara with a Racist at a Roger Ailes's Hotel in Beverly Hills...

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

"Scoop-age."  That's Jay's forte.  

RantNRave
RantNRave

Glazer went soft. It is hard to believe a MMA practicioner and someone who is so immersed in the NFL, could deliver such a soft interview. If Glazer is intimidated, then you now know the level of trouble that is Incognito and the NFL.

Even worse is that Glazer wanted to get both Martin and Incognito into the same room. This is still a bullying case. Anyone who has any clue about bullying, including a top journalist, is not going to place those two in the same room. Perhaps a tenure-track grade school teacher makes that mistake, but not when it's high-profile and the stakes are high. If Glazer were patient, he'd get a separate interview with Martin and let a calm & collected Martin make his case.

bryoman
bryoman

Glazer is a piece of crap and that interview was tanked from the very beginning.  He gave incognito the questions ahead of time.  This jerk is a close to a journalist as Howie Long is to being a Ballerina. 

Iowa
Iowa

Jay Glazer isn't perfect, pretty sure no other reporters are either. It sounds like this came together very quickly, so think it's perfectly excusable if there is some debate on whether a question here or there should've been asked or not. The prior relationship is somewhat troubling, but hardly surprising in today's world, pretty sure you can find similar relationships with athletes for any other reporter too.

The bottom line is anyone who thinks they have enough information to conclude that Richie Incognito is a monster and Jonathan Martin is a sweet little innocent is delusional. Incognito is a meathead, as everyone knows, but Martin absolutely could've handled the entire situation a whole lot better.

Fenris
Fenris

That interview was the biggest bunch of crap. Richie lost all credibility when he said that Martin threatened to murder his entire family, only for us to find out that Martin had sent Incognito a meme of a goofy looking puppy. Also interesting that the ex-players who are now on the Sunday NFL shows on Fox and CBS have said unequivocally that if this is "normal" locker room behavior now, it is NOT what their experiences were. So IOW, either Incognito is totally out of line or else the entire locker room abuse is totally out of line. They made it clear there is nothing "normal" or acceptable about the behavior ol' Richie thinks is just fine.

gwilliams
gwilliams

I always thought Glazer came across as a tool... this solidified it.

aventoro
aventoro

My friend is a news producer and says prepared questions and dry runs for interviews are the norm.  Glazer just set himself up as the reporter who will ask lob-ball questions if you're an NFL player in a firestorm.  He went a mile wide and an inch deep.  He should've gone an inch wide and a mile deep upon hearing Incognito's responses.  He's an afable guy who seems to be liked in NFL locker rooms and he took the safe route with those relationships - forsaking his responsibilities as a reporter of news.

Bucky182
Bucky182

Could Glazer do anymore self-promotion? No. That would never happen in this world.

robot_chimp
robot_chimp

Jay Glazer was a cub reporter in this arena.  He did not ask the easiest question - if Martin is your best friend, and your remarks are fun and "out of love," WHY ARE YOU NAMED IN THE GRIEVANCE?!  Thanks, Fox and Jay.  Next time, maybe Rob Riggle can do the interview.

nyjetsfan08
nyjetsfan08

I can understand why some would say Glazer should've asked. But, like he said, we already knew Incognito is a meat head. No one was coming into this interview and expecting Incognito to say he's not a meat head. I have to say, Schefensen is a joke. The trolls over at ESPN are so paranoid over getting the first word on a story over Peter King or Jay Glazer that they continuously get things wrong and NEVER come out and admit it or apologize. That would give them some humility but, ya know, arrogance and hubris is fine...And Schefensen will announce a scoop or a breaking story or something else and quote a source or anonymous sources and it seems so convenient that it happens right after Glazer breaks the story. It has happened to Mike Francesa, as well. ESPN is pure garbage, vultures. Rarely giving anybody else credit, save for an occasional credit to PFT or SI once in a while.

Glazer was on Mike and Mike yesterday and plugged the heck out of Fox Sports 1 and Fox  Football Daily and promoting his knack for scoops and breaking stories first, almost like what he did in this SI piece. Their interview ended, they went to break, and the first thing they said upon returning from break was commenting that Schefter has the story of Martin and Ross making plans to talk. They are so paranoid and insecure over at ESPN, specifically Scheftensen.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

As noted by others, Glazer is a jock-worshipper with previous ties to Incognito.  That makes the whole thing suspect and reflects badly on SI and Glazer.

When you have to run a story explaining (i.e., justifying) the methodology for another story, it means you botched it.  Bad news.

Fred29
Fred29

You know a story has jumped the shark when the media are interviewing each other rather than reporting new info about the story.

MLR32
MLR32

Glazer has business ties to Incognito. Shocking this gets overlooked in this day and age of journalism....

evileyefleagle
evileyefleagle

This interview should have been handled by a professional journalist instead of a jock sniffer like Glazer.

The golf course incident is part of the deal because Philbin said he suspended Glazer as soon as he heard of it.  Many people suspect the conduct of Dolphin management will become the heart of this story.


tannybogus
tannybogus

BS on not pushing golf question. Speaks to the idea that he was a changed man and whether the Dolphins knew about his behavior. The golf incident was a continuation of a pattern that Incognito has developed.

89RedSox
89RedSox

@Fenris The meme of the woman holding the goofy looking puppy had the caption "I will murder your entire effing family"......you're a smart one

larrybradford
larrybradford

@Fenris ... Do you know what Martin or Incognito said ???? I didn't think so....So STFU......

Iowa
Iowa

@robot_chimp The question really waiting to see asked is of Martin. "If you really were so distressed by the actions of others, then why were you chumming around with them and exchanging 1,100+ TEXT MESSAGES with your supposed tormentor???"

YemiThaBassMan
YemiThaBassMan

@Fred29 This is my favorite comment regarding this story. I'll care about a white guy using the n-word when it becomes a big deal for someone black to use it. 

And as someone with children who are half white, are they allowed to use it, but half the time? Can they use only half of the word? 

When my 3 year old growls at me when we're play fighting with "grrr", is he being racist? 

See how stupid this became with one word? 

Iowa
Iowa

@MLR32 Actually far less shocking now than it would've been 15-20 years ago. Internet-dominated media is one of the worst things to ever happen to journalism. Media used to be composed of liberal people who still had the integrity to strive to be unbiased and fair. Now it is composed predominantly of liberals who could care less about facts and simply will are going to push their agendas until they get their way. This whole 'story' is no exception. Both Incognito and Martin made poor decisions, yet somehow the media has allowed this to become all about Incognito's errors, and not one bit about Martin's.

DamionMosher
DamionMosher

You really don't understand victimization if you think this. When you are being victimized, you try anything you can to stop the torment without provoking more. If that means you joke with and befriend your tormentors, that's what you do.

Water-Faery
Water-Faery

The question you want to ask Martin is like asking a rape victim "didn't you fight?"  One of the ways abused or bullied people deal with the bullying is to try to "play nice and make friends" by engaging in similar talk.

el-cid
el-cid

@Iowa @MLR32 It's probably Obama's fault.  I have never in my life seen a conservative agenda pushed in the media.  Never.  No really.  Absolutely not.  Yeah.  Hey was network was this on?  I can't remember.  Was it Al Jazeera or PBS?  Seriously, an MMA dude with previous ties to an NFL meathead does a weak interview on FOX and you're griping about the liberal media?  You do realize that balanced journalism does not mean giving the flat earth society and Galileo equal time.

DamionMosher
DamionMosher

The question that should have been asked of incognito is who did this to you... This kind of behaviour is learned, usually by being victimised yourself.

el-cid
el-cid

@89RedSox @Water-Faery That's a great argument.  So as long as you are big I can do whatever I want to you and it's your fault.

89RedSox
89RedSox

@Water-Faery Rape victims are overpowered - Martain is a 300+ pound man.  Nice comparison

STeve Tahmosh
STeve Tahmosh

@Water-Faery Exactly.  Learned that in Harrassment training (work).  Now (finally :-) ) I understand why such behavior is never acceptable, even when the recipient expresses no issues with it.

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