Jay Mariotti spoke with Jason Whitlock for another 42 minutes today. I learned some things about Mariotti that I didn't know before. He started out as a regular sports columnist
for the Chicago Sun-Times in Cincinnati when he was just 25 years old, and in retrospect he can't believe that he had such a platform at that age, because "what does anyone know" at that age. I could relate to that. I learned that as a boy in Pittsburgh, he would walk to the corner store and buy the papers and read every sports section, and that he thinks that practice made him a better writer. I could relate to that, too. I learned that he considers Skip Bayless to be "dead-on" and to be the one guy who he'd "better read the paper" for in the morning, "'cause he's pretty good." I couldn't really relate to that.
But then, toward the end of this epic interview — the first stop on what is sure to be a long road to redemption — Mariotti started talking about this site, and about how it differed from the sports writing and reporting that he holds dear. The writing he read as a boy in Pittsburgh, I guess. And in listening to this, I think I learned something else about Mariotti: women are not a factor in what he holds dear. In August, we know, Mariotti got into a domestic dispute with his then-girlfriend and was charged with 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. All charges but for one misdemeanor count were eventually dropped, of course, and Mariotti ended up pleading no contest. But I will never listen to or read Mariotti again without the lurking suspicion that he hit a woman and got away with it, and so when Whitlock asked him today about what frustrated him so about Deadspin content, I learned something else about Mariotti's view of sportswriting, and of women's place in it: