Sports Columnist Mariotti Back in ‘Sun-Times’ Pages

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By: E&P Staff

Sports columnist Jay Mariotti returned to the pages of the Chicago Sun-Times Thursday, two weeks after undergoing an emergency angioplasty.

Mariotti fell ill Jan. 3 while flying into New Orleans to cover the Sugar Bowl.

His return column Thursday did not mention his absence, but included an oblique reference to heart problems. In a column largely devoted to the performance of Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, Mariotti opened the column by taking on the local controversy over former Bears coach Mike Ditka’s comments that he would not root for the team in Sunday’s NFC championship game.

Wrote Mariotti: “I’m not sure what’s more pathetic: That intelligent human beings in this large, Olympics-seeking town still are obsessed with Mike Ditka, who hasn’t coached here in 14 years and symbolizes cigars and meat slabs and all things that cause heart attacks, or that these very Ditkaphiles are disobeying his most famous life sermon. It would be the one that advises, ‘Those who live in the past are cowards and losers.'”

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