One of our all-time favorite Deadspin posts was pointing out the ridiculous platitudes shelled out by sports columns in the days after September 11. (We were not immune from this ourselves.) One of those columnists was Jay Mariotti, whose signature schtick doesn't lend itself well to tragedy. Fortunately, he can just recycle what he did before.
Jay The Joke points out the conventions and fallbacks for Mariotti, comparing his column about the Northern Illinois shooting tragedy to what he wrote about the death of Sean Taylor. A highlight, first from the Taylor column:
But as I stood there in the snow, taxi waiting, a thought tugged at me: We need to get a grip about athletes, idolatry and the assumption we know these people when we really don't.
And, from the NIU column:
This is life, death, anger and survival. And as I left the arena, on the coldest night of a hellish winter in Illinois, I wasn't thinking about a game.
It's a quick six-step plan to "humanizing" tragedy. A nifty trick, really.
In Which Jay Scripts His Grief [Jay The Joke]