Jeff Pearlman has never been one to shy away from ruffling feathers. You may remember him most significantly as the guy who penned the John Rocker story that got the sports world in an uproar. Pearlman's blog is one of the best off-the-radar sites out there. His takes are wide-ranging and at times, he is merciless. So when he read Richard Sandomir's piece in the N.Y. Times on NFL Insider turned MMA trainer Jay Glazer, Pearlman went ballistic saying the Times story turned his stomach.
When he’s not reporting on NFL players and teams, Glazer, ahem, works for NFL players and teams. Literally. He is a mixed martial arts trainer whose clients include two franchises (the Falcons and Rams) and, apparently, dozens of players, ranging from Ryan Grant to Patrick Willis to Matt Leinart. As in, they pay him for his services.
This, journalistically, is a joke. An embarrassing, pathetic, worst-of-its-kind joke.
Pearlman explains that during his days at Sports Illustrated, the policy in place said reporters were to avoid all gifts and perks in excess of $10.
We behaved in such a manner because we never, ever wanted a player or team to hold something over our heads. “How could you write that, when … we gave you a hat?”
Pearlman explains why he thinks Glazer is playing a dangerous game of conflict.
Glazer, on the other hand, accepts money from the very people he’s covering. One minute he’s helping Brian Cushing become a better athlete, the next he’s supposed to be telling us all he knows about the man—warts included. As clients, these players certainly expect—and receive—a high level of confidentiality. To work out under someone’s watch is to provide him with incredible access; access you don’t want displayed to the public. So what if Glazer hears Leinart calling a hooker? What if he sees Cushing (funny example) poppin ‘roids? What if he doesn’t think Grant is an especially hard worker? Does he sleep on the information, or does he ruin his ties with the players by reporting it? The answer is obvious: He sleeps on it.
Pearlman lobbed the final grenade at the end of his post.
Glazer told the Times he’s not trying to be a regular NFL reporter; that he’s trying to "build a brand." Indeed, he’s well on his way. Suggested brand name: Phony Reporter, Inc.
We are broaching new territory here. Anyone who knows Glazer is aware that he's at the top of the list of reporters trusted by NFL players. The Cushing case is an early example of putting Glazer in a terrible position.
What do you think? Does Glazer have to pick one job or the other? FOX has no issues with it. In fact, Glazer's MMAuthentics, co-owned by Randy Couture, has a featured video spot each Monday afternoon.
UPDATE: From the "interesting timing department," Glazer tweeted a short time ago breaking news about Atlanta Falcon Quinn Ojinnaka.