Arash Markazi's Outstanding Expense Account

If you've ever worked in the field of journalism, you know that, when it comes to travel arrangements, the media could use better travel agents. They almost always wait until the last minute to approve trips, which inevitably causes the price to be double or triple what it should have been. It's very productive.

Therefore, we ask: Just how much money is SI.com paying "The Hot Read' author Arash Markazi for all his trips, and what are they getting for their money? Other than stories the suddenly everywhere "journalist" can tell his friends about he was hanging out with Matt Leinart/Wayne Gretzky/Reggie Bush/ad nauseum.

Just look at some of these trips, prior to this summer, in which he was, of course, in Germany for the World Cup.

• 6/29/06: Was in New York, and did a column on the NBA draft party — which consisted mostly of an account of Ricky Terrell and Paul Pierce playing pool.
• 6/12/06: In New York for Belmont stakes. Also covered wrestling.
• 5/19/06: London, covering the Henry Theirry signing. It seems that all he did for this column was attend the press conference.
• 5/18/06: Paris, writing on the Champions League final.
• 4/3/06: Chicago for Wrestlemania, also visited Rosemont, Ill.!
• 1/3/06: Tempe, Ariz., as part of a five-bowl-game swing. This one is the Fiesta Bowl.

Also, do not miss his 1/20/05 column in which he interviews the city of Philadelphia.

The Hot Read is neither hot nor much of a read; it seems to be a vehicle for SI to get as many sports celebrity names as possible onto the site, without actually offending anyone or breaking any news. There seems to be little reason to send our protagonist out of the LA area, which means, of course, SI does it all the time. Ironically, when a field trip is justified — such as the Nathan's hot dog eating contest in NY (which could have been really funny and offbeat in the right hands) — Markazi stays at home and writes a pedestrian column off of the TV coverage (7/7/05).

Unless, of course, he's independently wealthy and is paying for all this himself. Which would just be kind of sad.

On The Scene [SI.com]
Markazi's Pretty Obviously Self-Penned Wikipedia Page [Wikipedia]

Our personal favorite Markazi paragraph, as a bonus, is after the jump.

(UPDATE: Several people have informed us that Markazi is, in fact, self-financed. Which explains a lot. By the way, we also hear, from all accounts, that Markazi is a very nice guy. Which also explains a lot.)

"Before heading to Kaiserslautern, I walk down old town Cologne and grab a quick lunch from one of the dozens of cafes and restaurants that line the cobble stoned streets. It's interesting that the large bratwursts, knockwursts, liverwursts and any other kind of wursts you can think of are heated and placed tiny rolls so both ends stick out. It's almost as if the bread is simply there so you don't burn your hands holding the meet. The piping hot sausages are so tasty though that the lack of accompanying bread quickly becomes a non-factor. It is also interesting to note that when ordering beer in most German establishments you simply ask for a beer instead of requesting a specific brand as most places only serve their own local beer as opposed to having a dozen different types of brew on tap."