For a full day, Fox Sports NFL reporter Jay Glazer teased he had some news to break on his Fox Football Now show on Wednesday. And not just any news, but big, national news.
A co-worker tweeted about the incoming news and, soon, a wave of speculation hit the coronavirus-weary internet. What could it be? A signing? A trade? A change in the NFL landscape? Glazer tweeted multiple times Wednesday to say what the news wasn’t, but you had to tune into his show — 11 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. PT — to find out what it was.
Lo and behold, the show arrived, and Glazer revealed his much-hyped news: Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen had tested positive for coronavirus … three weeks ago.
Jay Glazer’s big — and maligned — coronavirus scoop
While that was certainly a noteworthy development given that Allen was the first known NFL player to test positive for the coronavirus (he was soon joined by the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller), many were still rubbed the wrong way by how Glazer treated the news.
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Glazer’s tweet of the news was quickly inundated with thousands of replies. “You’re cancelled,” “Unfollowed,” “What is wrong with you” and “Can’t believe I stayed up till 11 for this” pretty much sum up the mood of the response.
There were likely several reasons behind the blowback: Glazer’s news was notable, but involved a little-known player and didn’t represent any big change for the NFL; people are likely somewhat weary of hearing about coronavirus and were hoping for something new; and Glazer seemed to have used news about a pandemic to pump up the ratings of his own show.
It was, at best, an awkward way to break a bit of news, and, at worst, exploitative.
Jay Glazer is receiving plenty of backlash for how he handled a piece of coronavirus news. (Gregory Payan/AP Images for NFL)
The next day, Glazer explained his side of the story during an appearance on an episode of the podcast “Green Light with Chris Long.”
Why Jay Glazer handled the Brian Allen story the way he did
As Glazer tells it, he only teased the story to his co-workers, who then ramped up the hype past what Glazer thought was appropriate. By the next morning, NFL players, coaches, executives and owners were texting him to find out what the news was.
Glazer defended the story as national news, which wasn’t wrong. The first known NFL player to get coroanvirus is definitely noteworthy for the league.
From Awful Announcing:
“The guys are joking around. I’m trying to say ‘wait guys, this is serious, I have something serious tomorrow night,’ and they’re joking around. I have legit breaking news tomorrow night, but it’s serious. They then pulled that out and said I had breaking news tomorrow night and it was serious. When you put that out there alone, it’s like ‘hey hey hey, look at me, I have breaking news,’ and that’s not how it was.
“I go to bed. I wake up the next morning, and there’s basically 32 teams asking me ‘what’s the big breaking news?’ I have guys from Lorenzo Neal to George Kittle, the spectrum of guys from owners to head coaches to GMs, I’m thinking ‘what are these people talking about? What’s going on?’
“I went to train at my gym, and it just started taking on a life of its own. So I tweeted out ‘hey guys, my news is not transactional, it’s not a player signing or a trade,’ but everybody just ignored that. ESPN Milwaukee did a poll question: what’s my big breaking news? My point was that I was putting out big national news. A player tested positive and had the virus for the first time that we know. It’s national news. I meant it literally: I have national news.”
That tracks with how many first heard of the oncoming news, a tweet from a Fox Sports Radio host.
WHOA. From @jayglazer w/us on @FoxSportsRadio – ‘I am breaking big, big news tomorrow night on Fox Football Now. I mean big, national news tomorrow. I’m not kidding around.’
— Jason Smith (@howaboutafresca) April 15, 2020
In fairness, Glazer did indeed go out of his way to make sure people knew the news wasn’t transactional.
The news I have tonight is not transactional news, not a player getting traded or signed. Woke up to seeing y’all going ape-you-know-what guessing what it is. It’s not what you think. Fox Football Now tonight 11 ET/ 8 PT after race
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 15, 2020
He also definitely seemed to have fun with others biting on fake accounts breaking what could have been his big reveal.
Now you guys got fooled by a fake @wojespn account reporting the same Odell trade BS. READ THE HANDLE… or don’t 😂😂😂
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 16, 2020
However, the question remains of why Glazer didn’t just reveal the news if it was getting overhyped, rather than let everyone’s imagination run amok.
Glazer’s response was simple: his job is to break news on Fox shows, so he wasn’t going to break until his Fox show aired:
“I work for Fox dude, I don’t work for Twitter. ESPN and NFL Network, they are an immediate thing. So on Fox NFL Sunday, I break news for for Fox NFL Sunday. If I hear something on Tuesday, I wait to break it on Fox NFL Sunday. My show aired last night, but also, when I talked to Brian Allen about it, it was to air on the show. That’s what we agreed upon: that I would air it on the show, and write out an interview later on.”
So basically, Glazer his Fox Sports co-workers overhyped his news and his Fox Sports duties meant he couldn’t reveal the over-hyped news until his own show. During the NFL season, Glazer often waits until his Fox NFL Sunday spots to break news, so waiting isn’t a new behavior, just the pre-hype.
For some, that likely won’t be a satisfying explanation of how we got here, but it at least makes the situation a little more understandable.
Now, Glazer is left with a sizable group of angry fans. He tried to deflect the anger by calling for donations to his Merging Vets & Players foundation to benefit first responders.
I understand the pissed-off-ness but if y’all can bottle it up just long enough to help us help our first responders & those on front lines please pass this along to all who may need the help. We are holding a special MVP for them today! Go to https://t.co/MsI2VzgTPu to sign up. https://t.co/2oJmFfAgMQ
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 16, 2020
The top reply to that tweet: “Surprised you didn’t say ‘breaking news’ and then post this 24 hours later.”
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