Jay Mariotti: Sports Media's Biggest Jerk Hits Rock Bottom

Sam WestmorelandFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2011

Jay Mariotti was charged with felony stalking, domestic violence and assault yesterday, stemming from altercations with an ex-girlfriend.
Jay Mariotti was charged with felony stalking, domestic violence and assault yesterday, stemming from altercations with an ex-girlfriend.

Jay Mariotti, the former Chicago Sun-Times writer, ESPN television personality and AOL Fanhouse blogger, has officially hit rock bottom this week. 

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, Mariotti was charged with three felony counts for stalking, domestic violence and assault, after he reportedly accosted an ex-girlfriend outside a Los Angeles area restaurant. 

This isn't the first time Mariotti's temper has gotten him in trouble with the law. In September of last year, he was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence by the same woman and pleaded no contest to the charge, thereby convincing the judge to drop six other misdemeanors from his case. Four other domestic violence charges, grand theft and false imprisonment. 

But wait, it gets better; these new charges stem from a pair of incidents that occurred on the same days that Mariotti was in court for the previous charges. 

Per the Times' report:

In addition to confronting his ex-girlfriend at a restaurant Sept. 30 -- the day he pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence -- prosecutors said he argued with his former girlfriend again outside of a Venice restaurant April 15. He allegedly pulled a chunk of her hair out and grabbed her cellphone, while shouting at her, prosecutors said.

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Mariotti has since denied the charges against him, calling them "outrageous falsehoods" through his attorney. 

Whether or not Mariotti is guilty of these charges, it's impossible to deny his status as the biggest jerk in all of sports broadcasting at this point. 

Even before his previous charges were filed, Mariotti was a prime contender for that crown, with his brash, abrasive style of argument on ESPN's Around the Horn and incredible ability to make you dislike him even when you agreed with his points. 

But now that he's been charged with three new felonies for assault and domestic violence, as well as stalking, is there any doubt? 

Clearly, Mariotti has some serious anger issues he needs to deal with, because he seems to enjoy running around, chasing ex-girlfriends and hitting them, or at the very least putting himself in situations wherein he can realistically be charged with a crime. 

If Mariotti's career wasn't over before, it is now. We live in an era where media personalities are held under a microscope almost as powerful as the one they hold to players. His behavior is unacceptable for anyone, let alone a media personality such as himself. Jay doesn't even have likability to fall back on; that flew out the window the instant he opened his mouth. 

Here's hoping these latest charges can show Mariotti the error of his ways, and he can fork over the title of sports media's biggest jerk to someone else. 

But given the way he's alleged to have reacted to the last charges he faced and the public persona that he's shown us over the years (loud, abrasive, quick to anger), that seems unlikely.


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