It's true that this blog is probably the most popular anti-Jay Mariotti blog to date. I would like to think that we came up with this novel idea, but there is one man who has been (often critically) writing about Mariotti for years: Michael Miner of the Chicago Reader.
I highly recommend that you all read this fantastic article he wrote about Jay
, which basically says the same thing as Wilbon's quote: Jay's excuse that he is afraid to go in the clubhouse is not valid.
My favorite part:
A YEAR FROM NOW someone will ask Ozzie Guillen, “What about that sensitivity training?” and he’ll say something like “Took a correspondence course—my son helped me fill in the answers,” and the world will laugh.
Jay Mariotti won’t laugh. The Sun-Times columnist isn’t the type to laugh or be laughed with. He’s a humorless loner. And when the White Sox manager called him a “fucking fag,” writers around town wagged a finger at Guillen but sidled away from Mariotti.
“I’ve got a lot of reporters jealous of me. To hell with them,” Mariotti told me. “I call those reporters ‘housemen.’ They need to take care of themselves and break some stories in town.”
I love that Jay says things like this. He is like that annoying guy at work that everyone hates. He is constantly made fun of at any number of parties that he is not invited to. Nobody wants to be left alone with him and nobody will defend him. But does that coworker try to change his tune? Does he try kindness to make a friend? Does he go out of his way to make someone else's life easier? Nope. He just digs in to his misguided convictions and further alienates himself.
Jay is that guy. At any point during this fiasco Jay could have admitted that he has made
millions of mistakes in his coverage of Chicago sports. He could have apologized and used this incident as an excuse to return to the roots of being a sportswriter: actually making contact with athletes. He could have approached Ozzie Guillen and tried to resolve their differences, probably ending in a very interesting column. He could have given us some insight into what makes him the disenfranchised, bitter man that he is - ANYTHING to make him even a bit more likable.
But did he? No. He made excuses. I challenge you to find anyone in Chicago who believes that Frank Thomas would have really violated Jay with a bat. I doubt that anyone actually believes that Jay would be in any sort of physical danger if he went to the Sox clubhouse. He comes across as petulant and as a liar. There is not a shred of honesty or self-awareness to be found.
If Jay were to write a column acknowledging that he is widely disliked, and cited the probable causes, I would gain an ounce of respect for him. If he tried to improve upon his flaws I would actually feel bad for having this blog.
But that's the beauty of Jay. He doesn't blame himself. He blames everyone else. Everyone else being athletes, owners, readers, the city of Chicago and now other journalists. That is the essence of what makes him so easy to dislike.
** Update: For those of you wondering about Jay's lack of columns this week, the most reliable news we have is that he was told to take a little time off, based on the idea that this controversey is bad for him. He has threatened to extend his little vacation out of anger. We remind you: this has happened a lot with Jay, but like his writing, his threats carry little conviction. **