Jay Mariotti

Jay Mariotti

Infobox Writer

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name = Jay Mariotti
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birthdate = birth year and age|1959
birthplace = Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
deathdate =
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occupation = Former Sportswriter
nationality = American
period =
genre =
subject =
movement =
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influenced =

website =

Jay Mariotti (born 1959 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a sportswriter and a former columnist for the "Chicago Sun-Times" until he resigned on August 26, 2008. He makes regular appearances on the ESPN game show "Around the Horn".

chooling and journalistic career

Mariotti attended Trinity High School in Washington, Pennsylvania before attending Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He started writing for the "Sun-Times" in 1991. Before joining the "Sun-Times", he worked at the "Cincinnati Post", "Rocky Mountain News" and then the "Denver Post".Baker, Chris. "Media Can't Keep Elway in the Grasp". "Los Angeles Times", December 2, 1989.] Throughout his career, Mariotti has won numerous awards, including honors as one of the Associated Press Sports Editors' top columnists nationally, on the national, state, and local levels. [ [http://espn.go.com/eoe/mariotti_bio.html ESPN Bio] . Accessed December 14th, 2006.] As of August 28, 2008 he has left the Chicago Sun-Times to pursue other interests. [http://www.suntimes.com/sports/1128603,mariotti082708.article]

Radio and television career

Mariotti is a regular panelist on "Around the Horn" and has guest hosted "Pardon the Interruption".cite web | url = http://www.tv.com/jay-mariotti/person/235877/biography.html | title = Jay Mariotti | work = TV.com | accessdate = 2006-11-04 ] Prior to his work with ESPN, he co-hosted a daily sports talk radio program with AP sports writer Jim Litke on One on One Sports/Sporting News Radio.

Criticism and controversy

As a columnist, Mariotti has occasionally gained attention for becoming involved in feuds with local sports icons in the towns where he works.

John Elway

While at the "Rocky Mountain News", he called Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway "a greedy and scared punk". In the resulting furor, death threats against Mariotti were reported to the police.Once at the News an anonymous colleague took a Mariotti column and with a red pen circled all the times he used "I," "me" or "my" in the course of the column. The total was 142. It was posted on a bulletin board in the newsroom for days.fact|date=September 2008

Chicago White Sox

In June 2006, Mariotti was the target of a tirade from Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén in which Guillen called Mariotti a "fag", among other things. Guillen was ordered to undergo sensitivity training, and eventually apologized for the word but not his treatment of Mariotti. Speaking to reporters later, Guillen continued to refer to Mariotti with profanities, saying, "I shouldn't have mentioned the name that was mentioned, but I'm not going to back off of Jay.""ESPN.com". " [http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2494491 Guillen apologizes for use of homosexual slur] ". June 22, 2006.]

"Sun-Times" colleague Rick Telander noted Guillen's frustration that despite being the frequent target of Mariotti's criticism, he had little opportunity to confront Mariotti about it. Telander said that Mariotti avoids the White Sox clubhouse, where other reporters frequently meet with players, saying that he fears for his safety.Telander, Rick. "In big picture, Mariotti's huge part of story". "Chicago Sun-Times", June 26, 2006.] A team official noted that Mariotti had previously been in a 1997 shouting match with Tony Phillips, and offered to meet with Mariotti to discuss his concerns. Among numerous other journalists, the "Chicago Tribune"'s Rick Morrissey has criticized Mariotti's failure to appear in the White Sox's clubhouse.

Mariotti was also involved in an ongoing dispute with Ken Harrelson, one of the White Sox play-by-play announcers. The two got into a shouting match in the press box during the 2004 season where it was alleged that Mariotti threatened to punch the 63-year-old Harrelson. Later, Harrelson tried to call into Mariotti's radio show after Mariotti said on air that he could "pinch [Harrelson's] beak off any time I want to," but the producer told Harrelson that "Jay said he'd take a pass." [ [http://www.deadspin.com/sports/hometown-columnists/why-your-hometown-columnist-sucks-jay-mariotti-128983.php Why Your Hometown Columnist Sucks: Jay Mariotii - Deadspin] ] [ [http://www.cantstopthebleeding.com/C1882343933/E1457185025/ Mariotti Talks Tough, Threatens Hawk's Beak - Can't Stop the Bleading] ]


After feeling ill on a flight to cover the January 3, 2007 Allstate Sugar Bowl, Mariotti went to a New Orleans area hospital where he received an angioplasty to clear a clogged artery. [http://www.suntimes.com/sports/198116,010407jay.article Chicago Sun-Times article on Mariotti angioplasty January 4, 2007.]


On August 26, 2008, Mariotti announced that he was resigning from the "Chicago Sun-Times" after writing for them for 17 years. The resignation came by way of a two-word email to the "Sun-Times": "I quit!" [ [http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-jay-mariotti-roger-ebert-080828,0,7831026.story Roger Ebert review: Thumbs down on Jay Mariotti and his final scene] ] He stated his choice was heavily weighted on the fact that while covering the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing that he saw more writers for websites covering the Games and a smaller presence of newspapers, giving him the opinion that writing for a website was "what the future holds." Mariotti currently claims that he is searching for a sportswriting job with a website. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-080826mariotti-resigns,0,1339701.story?track=rss Sun-Times columist Jay Mariotti resigns August 26, 2008.]

"Sun-Times" reporter Chris De Luca wrote an article in the paper's August 28, 2008 edition, citing the feelings of Mariotti's now former "Sun-Times" colleagues.http://www.suntimes.com/sports/deluca/1131768,CST-SPT-deluca28.article August 28, 2008.] "Sun-Times" editor Michael Cooke said, "We wish Jay well and will miss him -- not personally, of course -- but in the sense of noticing he is no longer here, at least for a few days...A paper, like a sports franchise, is something that moves into the future. Stars come and stars go, but the Sun-Times sports section was, is and will continue to be the best in the city."

De Luca himself wrote: "Not once in the last eight years can I recall seeing Mariotti in the Cubs' or Sox' clubhouse. With a press credential that allowed him access to every major sporting event and every major figure, he hasn't broken a single story in that time. He says Chicago is a weak market, the competitive edge gone. He has only himself to blame...He called his colleagues soft, forgetting we're the ones who had to face his targets on a daily basis. We were the ones who had to deal with the anger that he was too cowardly to face himself. We got the quotes that made up the bulk of his columns."

As a colleague who observed Mariotti's candid attitude and behavior at the Sun-Times up close for years, De Luca went on to quote Mariotti and write the following:"In spinning his story to the Chicago Tribune, Mariotti depicted the Sun-Times as the Titanic, and it was clear the self-proclaimed tough guy was knocking over the old women and children to be the first to jump ship. 'I'm a competitor, and I get the sense this marketplace doesn't compete,' said Mariotti, who will remain a regular contributor on Around the Horn. 'Probably the days of high-stakes competition in Chicago are over. To see what has happened in this business ... I don't want to go down with it.'Stand-up guy to the end."

A second internal column against Mariotti's move came in the form of an open letter written by "Sun-Times" film critic Roger Ebert, which was posted to his "Sun-Times" web portal on August 28, and printed in the August 29 edition. In it, he writes "As someone who was working here for 24 years before you arrived, I think you owed us more than that," wrote Ebert. "You owed us decency. The fact that you saved your attack for TV (citing a WBBM-TV interview from Mariotti on August 27 after his "Around the Horn" taping [http://cbs2chicago.com/sports/jay.mariotti.quits.2.803995.html] ) only completes our portrait of you as a rat." [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080828/COMMENTARY/808289997]

Another Sun Times columnist (Neil Steinberg) wrote about Mariotti in the August 29, 2008 issue. In the column, the author praises Rick Telander (another sports columnist at the Sun Times) as a great columnist and a great human being, while depicting Mariotti as a coward and a bully. Mariotti and Telander have had frequent feuds. [http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinberg/1134011,CST-NWS-stein29.article]


External links

* [http://espn.go.com/eoe/mariotti_bio.html Official ESPN Bio]
* [http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mariotti/index.html Chicago Sun-Times archives of Mariotti's columns]
* [http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2005/10/jay_mariottis_y.html#comments Selection of columns by Mariotti on '05 White Sox]

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