Jay Mariotti: Is His Career Officially Over With Word of New Charges?

RM Herold@@BR_RollinFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2010

Jay Mariotti: Is His Career Officially Over with Word of New Charges?

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    Jay Mariotti is not out of hot water yet. According to the LA Times, Mariotti has been charged with seven misdemeanor counts, stemming from the domestic disturbance situation that he was involved in last month.

    Fortunately for him, the prosecutors have said that because of a lack of evidence he won't be charged with more serious felony charges.

    The charges include two counts of domestic violence with injury, two counts of domestic violence, one count of grand theft, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of vandalism.

    If he were convicted of all of them, he would face up to seven years behind bars.

    But even if he were to beat all the charges, where would his career be?

His Side

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    In an updated story from the LA Times, Mariotti gave his side, via his attorney Debra Wong Yang.

    Ms. Yang said that her client was innocent and the alleged victim was "extremely intoxicated" and "abusive."

    She continued by saying: "The allegations are inaccurate and sensationalized. We are confident that the facts will show that the complainant was extremely intoxicated that night and abusive toward Mr. Mariotti." 

    Mariotti better hope the court sees things the same way.

    But he might find it harder to pick up his crumbling career.

    Here's why:

10. Credibility

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    Sportswriters such as Mariotti need credibility more than anything else. On the show Around the Horn (which I still haven't figured out how it is scored), he plays the role of blow hard amongst other blow hards and the winner is whomever blows the hardest.

    On it, Mariotti seemed to really enjoy taking shots at athletes and or celebrities. He was holier than thou and now he isn't.

9. Likability

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    On ESPN's Around the Horn, Mariotti and Woody Page seemed to be the anchors that had the most "wins" and appearances.

    But unlike the much more popular PTI (Pardon The Interruption), neither Page nor Mariotti come off as funny or likable. They yell their points at the host, Tony Reali, and he decides somehow who should move on.

    So Mariotti didn't build up any favor to withstand something like this.

8. Burned Bridges

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    Before becoming one of the faces for ESPN, Mariotti wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times. But according to the Sun-Times Editor Michael Cooke, Mariotti sent him an email saying "I quit," out of the blue.

    Cooke said Mariotti also made disparaging remarks of the "...place that cared for him, nurtured him, paid him well for 17 years."

    Roger Ebert, the famous film critic who also works at the Sun-Times, wrote a letter to Mariotti in the paper calling him a rat and ended it by saying, "On your way out, don't let the door bang you on the ass."

7. Peer Respect

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    Several writers as well as bloggers came out, not in defense of Mariotti but to seemingly giggle with glee at his demise.

    In fact even those that came out to his defense always qualified their words by saying that even if they didn't necessarily like him, he deserved his day in court.


6. Not Missed

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    The Sun-Times editor also mentioned that he received letters from Chicago readers that said they would be coming back to the paper now that Mariotti was gone.

    And in real irony, his main bread and butter Around the Horn treated him like any other topic and gave him a minute and a half discussion as to whether or not the media has treated him fairly.

    Not one of his peers on the show wanted to touch the topic, all of them measuring their words and watching the clock so they could move on to something less uncomfortable.

5. Athletes Rejoiced

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    Most notably Chad Ochocinco tweeted about Mariotti, wondering if ESPN would pile on "one of their own" like they do athletes.

    But overall it seemed that most athletes didn't like Mariotti either.

    In the sports world, second and third chances are given out repeatedly, but that is usually if you have something to offer.

    It will be interesting to see who would be the first one to offer Mariotti a job, if he is cleared.

    Maybe he could write for free on Bleacher Report?

4. Problems with Others As Well

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    A few years ago, Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken Harrelson called Mariotti a fraud and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had to apologize for calling Mariotti a "fag."

    Guillen said he was apologizing for using the word, but not to Mariotti.

    Mariotti kept the feud going by saying that he wouldn't meet with Guillen to discuss their problems because he had received physical threats from members of the White Sox organization.

3. The Fans?

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    Fortunately for Mariotti, there is no way to quantify how the fans of Around the Horn feel about him, but at his online writing job, the comments section is pretty bad.

    Many Chicago fans have had choice words for him as well.

    He seems to have made quite a few people angry.

2. Glass House Syndrome

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    Most bloggers and comments on his stories have used the word hypocrite, while most columnists have chosen to use "ironic" as a way to describe where Mariotti finds himself right now.

    These terms have come up because Mariotti has chosen time and again to come down hard on athletes for their flaws, even before they have had their court dates.

    Most recently (before his arrest) Mariotti wrote a column on Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

    The title? "For Acts of Violence, MLB Much Too Soft."


1. Karma

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    Not only is Mariotti battling all of these other reasons, it could be something he has no control over that keeps him from getting back to his writing career.

    Something that he messed with for years without even knowing it...