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Jay Glazer blazes trail

Sportscaster Jay Glazer and UFC fighter Randy Couture

Sportscaster Jay Glazer and UFC fighter Randy Couture arrive at Spike TV's 4th Annual "Guys Choice Awards" held at Sony Studios in Los Angeles. (June 5, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty

Journalism does not produce as many colorful characters as it used to, but in three decades I have met my share, and few can top Fox’s NFL information man, Jay Glazer.

I met him when he was on the fringes of the reporting pack at Giants camp in the mid-1990s, forging bonds with the likes of a young Michael Strahan.

More recently he has ridden a string of scoops to national prominence, complete with an appearance in a Subway restaurant ad, not to mention a side business – of dubious journalistic appropriateness – training players in mixed martial arts.

Now this: Bryant Gumbel will profile Glazer on Tuesday’s “Real Sports’’ on HBO.

The beauty of Glazer’s success is it was hard-earned and self-made.

In a feature I wrote in 2008 he recalled his cash-strapped late 1990s in squalid New York apartments, one in Harlem where the refrigerator blocked the bathroom door and the bathroom light stayed on only if you didn’t let go of the string.

In that story I described Glazer as “indefatigable, ingratiating and a smidgen insane.’’ So nothing has changed.

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