Jay Glazer Q&A: On his 3,912 phone contacts, how he does his job and battling anxiety


Each week during the football season, we will interview a different broadcaster. The goal is for readers to gain insight into how NFL and college football broadcasters approach what they do, along with some questions tied to the game or assignment they are charged with that week. Our ninth Q&A subject is Fox NFL insider Jay Glazer, who appears weekly on “Fox NFL Sunday.” This Sunday his show will air live from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado as part of a two-hour presentation that begins at 11 a.m. ET.
Previous weeks have featured Fox’s Greg Olsen and Pam Oliver, Amazon’s Al Michaels, CBS and Westwood One Audio’s Kevin Harlan, CBS’ Gene Steratore, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, NBC’s Melissa Stark and NFL Network’s Rich Eisen.
How would you define your job in 2023?
Chaos. When I started way back in the 1990s, it was so much easier to get information that nobody else had because there really wasn’t anybody else doing it. There weren’t cellphones, and the internet wasn’t around back then. Back then, there were some things that I waited two weeks to release because I only had so much time and so many things I could break. Now, it’s so hard to get things that hold. It’s so much more minute by minute. It’s now who can tweet stuff the fastest, and that’s not what any of us signed up for. I broke the news of Chase Young getting traded to the 49ers during the trade deadline, and I had it up for all of a couple of minutes before it was everywhere else.
You certainly still break transaction news. But you don’t seem to be focused on transactions daily the way ESPN’s Adam Schefter or NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport are. Why is that?
(NBC Sports’) Peter King probably gave me the best compliment I could ever have. We were at Vikings camp last year, and he said, “The thing about you is no matter what on Sundays, we have to tune in because you’re going to have something different than all of us.” For me, that’s the home run now. That’s my payoff. We do so much entertainment on “Fox NFL Sunday” that I want to make sure that we also have better information than any place else, and that’s my job. This year, I’m really proud of the work I’ve done.
How many contacts would you say are in your cellphone?
I think you can actually look it up — hold on a second. (Pauses.) 3,912.
That is unbelievable.
I do need to clean it out a bit because it looks like there are 76 duplicates. Damn, I talk to a lot of people!
Without giving up sourcing, how does a story like the one you broke recently on Antonio Pierce and Josh McDaniels come about?
It’s kind of hard to say without talking about sourcing. What I can say is I never do a story where I talk to one person about it. I don’t go off of one source. The reason why you can’t go off two sources is because one may have told the other. So I will always get three independent sources. I told my bosses at Fox when we were doing the Tom Brady jersey story, I am so paranoid and meticulous about stuff because of what happened with Richard Jewell. That always stuck with me. Everybody got it wrong, and they ruined this dude’s life. The way these stories happen is you talk and talk and talk to people.
“There was this big airing of the grievance meeting and players just unloaded on Josh McDaniels.” @JayGlazer has the Inside Scoop on the Raiders’ pic.twitter.com/pGx0ixwoVd — FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 5, 2023
“Fox NFL Sunday” has a two-hour show this Sunday from the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Veterans Day has always been specifically important to you, right?
Being part of MMA, I got very close with a lot of military. I got to train a lot of troops. The thing that always gets me is, man, they don’t know me or my kid, yet they leave their own families to protect us. To this day, it boggles my mind. Since I’ve been with Fox, I’ve been able to go overseas and visit military bases. I really get to see the sacrifice that they make. When they see us, they light up, but they have no idea how much we light up.
At this point in your career, do people come to you with the best stuff or do you still have to work for the best stuff?
You still have to work for it. I always try to outwork the world. But I am trying to have a life. The minute-by-minute breaking news stuff … it ruined every relationship I ever had. I am happily engaged now to Rosie (Tenison), but it was a recent Wednesday and there was no football on, and she said, “Hey, I need you to put your phone away.” I used to be only a reporter. But now as I do more mental health stuff, my relationships have changed, and I try to be more than a reporter. With my mental health situation, I need these relationships. I need to talk to people. I need people around me.
You wrote a book — “Unbreakable: How I Turned My Depression and Anxiety Into Motivation and You Can Too” — in 2022 about your depression and anxiety. Did you find writing that book cathartic?
My depression and anxiety is clinical. Depression, anxiety, ADHD and throw in a little bipolar. I gotta go big (laughs)! My treatment is extensive. I have several therapists. I do a lot of different vitamins. They tried me on over 30 medications, antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and none of it worked. So I’ve always had to figure out ways to deal with it.
When I wrote the book, I stopped all my treatment because I wanted to be as authentic as I could when I wrote about it. The reason to write the book was to give it words. It was hard when I stopped the treatment. It took me about a year and a half — and I’m still working on it — to get myself back up. It was a dark hole. I’ve always had anxiety attacks before I went on anything from 2005 onwards, and that was either live or scripted TV. I remember talking to (Philadelphia Eagles lineman) Lane Johnson about his mental health stuff, and he said journaling helped him. I think the book, for me, is my way of journaling. Since the book, I have not had an anxiety attack on the air.
When you had anxiety issues on-air during “Fox NFL Sunday,” how did you deal with them in the moment?
So, let me tell you how it feels. It feels like your eyes start shaking, your hands start shaking, you start sweating, and you feel like you’re having a heart attack. I call it wrestling with my abuser. As it’s happening, as I’m talking to you at home on Fox, I’m talking to the voices in my head. I’m trying to negotiate with them to let up. It is the craziest thing. I can’t tell you how to do it, but the No. 1 thing I tell myself the whole time is, “You’re safe, you’re safe.” Because it feels really dangerous, and you feel you are having a heart attack on the air.
What I did not do for all those years was tell anybody. They (his “Fox NFL Sunday” colleagues) would say, “How come you never told us?” I said, “Well, it’s your show too. This is our escape. I don’t want to mess with your guys’ show.” Now if it starts, I’ll tell Curt (Menefee), I’ll tell Howie (Long), I’ll tell (Michael Strahan). The moment you tell someone, the strangulation starts letting up a little bit. It is real love with that group. When I am not around them in the offseason, I struggle.
GO DEEPER The 9 NFL games left in 2023 that you won’t want to miss
Previous Q&As
• Greg Olsen: On Tom Brady and his future at Fox, Jordan Love, Justin Fields and more
• Al Michaels: On criticism, dinner with John Madden, working with Kyle Shanahan
• Kevin Harlan: On his Super Bowl streak, his Buck family bond and the speedy Dolphins
• Pam Oliver: On broadcasting longevity, what her job is like, the joy of Eagles fans and more
• Gene Steratore: On how an NFL rules analyst operates, staying current on rules and more
• Dan Orlovsky: On ESPN, watching every NFL game, and the viral video that started it all
• Melissa Stark: On the art of on-field questions, Eagles fans and Taylor Swift
• Rich Eisen: On Chiefs-Dolphins, doing play-by-play, and an alternate reality at Turner
(Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty Images)


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