It was a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t moment. Avoid Jay Mariotti’s arrest and look cowardly; talk about it as safe and vanilla as possible and look weak. Two out of the three talking heads went the safe route. Thank goodness for Bob Ryan.
Thoughts on Kevin Blackistone’s comments: “There is a lot of ego and envy in this business of sports commentating.” Ego yes, envy? Significantly less so, especially in this instance. We took that to mean that Blackistone thinks people are envious of Mariotti, hence the strong negative reaction. We couldn’t disagree more. Mariotti, to anyone who reads (or watches) sports writers, is a buffoon. In the last five years, Mariotti wasn’t much different from Stephen A. Smith – a guy with no depth who resorts to yelling his opinion to make it seem more relevant. “I think a lot of people are very uncomfortable with the fact that he’s risen as he has …” There’s Blackistone again hinting at envy.
Thoughts on Bob Ryan’s comments: “I was always disappointed Jay Mariotti did not use his formidable writing skills in a positive way.” We weren’t reading much of Mariotti’s copy in the 1980’s to know about these alleged “formidable writing skills.” At any rate, nice backhanded compliment, Bob. “… he’ll have to start rethinking about how he’s going about his business.” That seems universally agreed upon, except maybe from the other two panelists.
Thoughts on Woody Paige’s comments: Woody always talks a tough game. But not here. He spoke in circles for 15 seconds. What does this even have to do with Mariotti: “We in this country tend to build people up and knock them down.” Who built him up?