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Tom Jones' Two Cents

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Around the Horn addresses Jay Mariotti situation



mariotti.jpgThose who read me know I'm not a fan of the ESPN show Around the Horn. However, it should be mentioned that the show did address the Jay Mariotti situation. A little background: Mariotti is a sports columnist for AOL Fanhouse and a regular on Around the Horn. Two weeks ago, Mariotti was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence after an alleged incident with his girlfriend. For much of his career, Mariotti has been a confrontational personality, heavily criticizing athletes, teams and executives. He also has taken the high moral ground when players have been charged with crimes. So it was no surprise, really, that many athletes, media types and fans seemed to take satisfaction in Mariotti's public fall.

Mariotti was suspended indefinitely by AOL Fanhouse and Around the Horn was not on the week after Mariotti's arrest because of the Little League World Series. When the show did return Monday, host Tony Reali and panelists Kevin Blackistone (Dallas Morning News), Bob Ryan (Boston Globe) and Woody Paige (Denver Post) discussed Mariotti. They didn't talk about the actual arrest and what should happen to Mariotti, but the negative reaction toward Mariotti that the arrest generated. None of the three panelists said they were surprised by the reaction with Ryan saying, "I was once suspended for a foolish remark for a month and I was heartened and gratified by the tremendous support I got from people in the business, both male and female. It got me through that much easier. I only regret that Jay does not enjoy that same support but he'll have to start rethinking about how he's going about his business.''

Because Mariotti was such a regular on the show and his arrest did make the news, Around the Horn does deserve credit for not ignoring the topic. Some argue that the show kind of went through the back door by talking about the reaction to the arrest instead of the arrest itself. Some asked if they would have been so gentle had, say, another broadcaster had been arrested for the same incident. Ultimately, I'm not so sure sports fans care enough to discuss the ins and outs of Mariotti's legal troubles so Around the Horn can't be blamed for how they talked about it. At least they discussed it in some form.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:13pm]


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