Jay Mariotti’s fall from prominence because of a misdemeanor count of domestic violence didn’t suddenly make him self aware.
Mariotti speaks in a softer tone. Living on the West Coast seems to have calmed him down. But when you listen to his words during a fascinating sitdown on Jason Whitlock’s new podcast Real Talk, the old defiance and lack of perspective remains.
Whitlock asked Mariotti whether he feels any differently about an old column where he said LeGarrette Blount should have gone to jail for his post-game punch while at the University of Oregon.
“He hit him. It’s on videotape. He hit him with a punch. Period. End of story,” Mariotti said. “If that had happened on the street, somebody would be hauled in.”
Mariotti’s time as a TMZ subject showed him what it’s like to be on the other side. It doesn’t sound like he learned much from the experience.
He pleaded guilty to roughing up a woman, yet spent the early part of the interview making excuses. Mariotti said the biggest lesson he learned was that he just shouldn’t have been out at the time, implying he did nothing wrong. (Way to use a hackneyed athlete excuse.)
Mariotti also indicated he would have fought the case in court if not for AOL’s suggestion to plea and their supposed promise he would get his job back. (AOL has since dropped Mariotti, as has ESPN.) He accused the media of not looking deeply into his actual plea agreement and court statements.
“They aren’t necessarily going to follow the ins and outs of the case,” Mariotti said, chiding the media for basing opinions on initial headlines.
(Everyone that watched Mariotti on Around the Horn just participated in a mass facepalm.)
Mariotti still doesn’t get it. He made his career out of basing quick, unfair black and white opinions on initial headlines. As Whitlock pointed out, Mariotti wants nuance when he rarely offered it to his his column subjects.
Mariotti’s response to that criticism: Well, I did offer perspective on some occasions.
That’s the type of answer you’d expect from of a 9-year old boy who believes he was unfairly sent to his room.