Mariotti reappears with Bears column on Chicago site

If several Chicago-area athletes, coaches and owners woke up with a headache Monday (Jerry Reinsdorf probably had a migraine), here’s the reason: Jay Mariotti is back.

Well, sort of.

The former Chicago Sun-Times columnist reappeared in ChicagoSide, a relatively new site launched by Jonathan Eig. He weighed in from California on the Bears-Packers game.

It was typical Jay. He even professed to want to be positive, but that other Jay (Cutler) spoiled the mood.

Preparing for this article last week, I was hoping the Bears would beat the Packers and allow me to share in some rare warm-and-fuzzy glow. But in my 17 years as a Sun-Times sports columnist, topicality and necessity forced me into the corners of harsh reality way too often. This column is no different. I’ll be accused of Mariotti negativity, and some people will complain just so they can have something to be mad about. But so what?

Besides, it may take the heat off another Jay.

As for how Mariotti wound up writing for ChicagoSide, Eig said, “It is simple.”

“I invited him to submit a story if he ever felt the urge,” said Eig in an email. “He submitted one and I liked it. I don’t know if he’ll write for us again, but if he produces additional stories as good as this one, I’d be pleased to have them.”

Mariotti is pictured in a relaxed pose, an empty beer glass in his hand with the Pacific in the distance.

Life is good, right?

Mariotti has been in relative obscurity ever since a domestic violence incident cost him high-profile jobs with AOL Fanhouse and on ESPN’s Around the Horn.

Here’s what his bio says on ChicagoSide:

He lives in Los Angeles where he works on media projects. His recent e-book about his life and media career, “The System: A Manual on Surviving Liars, Loons, Law, Life,” is available on

Here’s a link to the book. The cover features a sunset, an odd choice considering the hard-hitting title.

Perhaps Mariotti has mellowed out and is enjoying the good life in LA, drinking beers by the ocean. It represents quite a lifestyle change from the columnist who would have written three columns per day if given the chance.

It’ll be interesting to see if Mariotti does more for ChicagoSide. It definitely won’t be for the money, because ChicagoSide doesn’t operate that way.

Rather, I expect Mariotti will do it so he can be heard again. He’s been silent for a long time.





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