The tale of Jay Mariotti, as sad and vile as it may be on the surface, isn't entirely unique. During his interview with Fox's Jason Whitlock months ago, Mariotti played off the first set of allegations as an isolated moment of rage (he was trying to "help the person [his girlfriend]," he said), and he may not have been lying. But it also represented the last step in a transformation from an acerbic, confrontational sportswriter into a semi-celebrity totally divorced from normal human behavior and whose life was quickly becoming an ongoing exercise in brand management. Like I said, this isn't new. What follows is a little bit of armchair psychology, based on thousands of hours spent monitoring and bullying ESPN personalities about some of their off-screen activities.