4. Mariotti Has a Job
RCS: Big news at ATH this week -- and the broader sports-writing world: Jay Mariotti, who is currently – and perhaps by his own admission – the most divisive personality in the industry, finally found employment at AOL Sports and yesterday wrote a column brashly titled “Obama and I will fix the BCS.”
Our question for you is, on a scale of one to ten – one being Lou Gehrig; ten being Terrell Owens – how much of a prima donna is Mariotti?
Erik Rydholm: Damn you... using a numerical construct to pin me down. For me, honestly, Jay is on the Gehrig side of the scale -- let's go with a 3 or a 4. He has never been divisive on our show. He's never taken our team apart. Our group is so low maintenance. Now, I do hear from him when he hasn't won in a while or when he feels he wasn't scored properly, but part of that is that he likes the extra thirty seconds to talk at the end of the show.
Jay has received plenty of criticism. But he works as hard as anyone, and always has a provocative take. Whether you agree with it or not, he usually says something that he has thought out and is worth arguing about. I'm a Chicagoan and have read him for years. And while sometimes I felt like his columns could be a bit harsh on guys I wanted to see succeed, I read him. Heck, I bought the paper for him.
On ATH, we ask him for his point of view on ten issues a day, and he delivers good ones. We try to hold him accountable, and he's not above having fun with that. For me, he's been great.