S2N broke the news to you in the post below, but I just wanted to delve a little deeper into this very interesting Monday in the Sports Blog World. Jay Mariotti has said for months, following his departure from print media, that he was looking to start up a blog. I think a lot of people thought that he was being snarky and sarcastic, but apparently that wasn’t the case. Jay Mariotti is your newest writer at Fanhouse. Seriously.

He already has his first column up, titled “Sunnier Times in New Mainstream Media” (See what he did there? So clever!), so let’s take a look at some of the highlights, shall we?

Expect me to zealously comment on national issues while spanning the country and world to cover events. Sometimes, my pieces will appear via video, so you get to know me even better than the guy who schools Woody Paige every day on ESPN. The difference is, the column won’t go through the 20th-century, ink-and-newsprint monkey grind where you hope the truck driver doesn’t stop at Dunkin’ Donuts and the delivery boy doesn’t hit your dog on the ass. The column simply will go from my computer to an editor to you.

I’m working for a company, AOL, that attracted 54 million unique visitors to its programming content sites in November and ranks fourth in traffic among Internet news sites. As established writers keep moving Web-ward, it will cause consternation among a few members of the sports blogosphere, some of whom think they own the Internet when, as everyone knows, Bill Kurtis owns the Internet. I’ve never bought into this “mainstream media vs. bloggers” blood war because, in my mind, we’re all writers. The best young writers provide compelling takes on sports. The losers wake up each day and attack (choose your ESPN target), an approach that can’t attract much audience beyond a few neurotic souls in sports media. Now hear this: I’m a bit too busy to hate bloggers or, really, anyone but terrorists and certain Illinois politicians. I just think they should be writing about Steve Smith, not Stephen A. Smith.

Well then. I’m not one to tell a company like AOL, who has been through the ringer numerous times and has always come out on the other side, how to run their business. AND, I’m not one to use the phrase “jump the shark”, because it has “jumped the shark”. BUUUUUT….I do wish you good luck with your recent hire.

Why? Well because they’ve gone out and hired one of the most despised men on the Internet, are attempting to take one of the sole reasons bloggers became popular, and turn him into one its stars. It’s so mind blowing that I can barely even think right now. This is beyond meta. Hell, Jay Mariotti is one of the reasons that this blog has done so well in its under three year existence.

Sure, on the surface it looks like I wake up every morning, try and find something to make fun of ESPN about, and then watch as the hits roll in. But it’s much deeper than that. People like Mariotti, and throughout print media, started to get lazy and make the World of Sports about them and not the players or the game. Blogs were started by intelligent young writers looking to provide a better outlet, “Watchdogs” for the “Watchdogs” were formed to come up with a new checks and balances system, and then people like Mariotti cringed, fought back and groaned.

Now he’s “one of us”, and that my friends is the very definition of irony.

Sunnier Times In New Mainstream Media (Fanhouse)