Jay Mariotti was having lunch in Keefer's Kaffe on Kinzie, a ham-and-cheese on panini and a bottled water. Behind him, a big-screen TV flashed images of the White Sox game. He ignored the game. The Sun-Times sports columnist was on vacation, a sudden departure that would stretch to five weeks and spark rumors that he was leaving the newspaper. Or being canned.Like political pundits everywhere, it seems commentators in the sporting industry have discovered this much: Outrage and outrageous behavior is what gets you on TV and in the paper. From the magazine profile:
As anybody in a Chicago newsroom or pro clubhouse could tell you, Mariotti's departure would have been met with cheers from many of his colleagues, not to mention the sports figures he bludgeons. And he knows it.
"You'll be hard-pressed to find anybody in this city who likes me," said Mariotti.
"Take your shots at me," Mariotti says of his colleagues, leaning back in his chair and raising his palms to the air. "All you're doing is making me more famous."Howard Cosell, eat your heart out.