Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Jay Walking: Why I'll Miss Chicago's Loudest Sportswriter

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Jay Walking: Why I'll Miss Chicago's Loudest Sportswriter

Article excerpt

(Commentary) The unexpected news that Jay Mariotti quit the Chicago Sun-Times will gladden the heart of countless sports fans here, who have gobbled up countless gigabytes in the blogosphere documenting their hatred for the sportswriter. Google "Jay Mariotti sucks," and you'll get 12,400 returns. Mariotti was held in such contempt in the clubhouses of some teams that he has written his columns for years without stepping foot in them. He said in all seriousness he felt unsafe in the White Sox clubhouse, for instance.

And it's not as if Jay will be much missed in the newsroom, either. Columnist Neil Steinberg's rant recorded on "You Tube" captures a taste of the way he's regarded by some of his colleagues.

Consider the statement Editor in Chief Michael Cooke issued this afternoon: "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."

So maybe I'm a majority of one, but I gotta say I'm going to miss him.

In the same way that I think "Seinfeld" is so brilliant because it crafts great comedy out of all the things I hate about TV sitcoms -- such as the hypocrisy and lying necessary to set up the joke, the careless ways in which a character's own, well, character will be changed for the convenience of the plot -- I admired Jay's work for all the ways that it epitomized yet transcended the worst of sportswriting.

Jay was so SERIOUS about this silliest of human diversion. If Ozzie Guillen dropped an F-bomb here or there, he wasn't rude or ignorant -- he was evidence of the fall of Western Civilization. A high draft pick who comes up with a bad back the second day of training camp wasn't evidence that the Chicago Bears are snake-bitten, but just not in the cute way that the Cubs lose. No, it was an evil plot worthy of the Illuminati. …

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