Mariotti Sent Journo Legend ‘Vile, Defriend’ Letter

Legendary LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL columnist Norm Clarke related his professional and personal experience with Jay Mariotti Sunday night on Twitter. Here’s what Clarke wrote:

It saddens me, as a former friend & colleague of Jay Marrioti, that he hasn’t figured it out.

In the 80’s i covered an Olympics and a World Series with him. The friendship ended at the Closing Ceremonies of the Calgary Olympics.

He wanted to leave 30 minutes into the show. Two of the 3 of us wanted to stay. He stormed out of the stadium, f-bombing us.

Next morning, i found a two-page handwritten letter under my dorm door.

It was the most vile and disturbing thing I had ever received from a “friend.” A bad case of battle fatigue, I figured. Basically saying why he was defriending ME, that i was unworthy.

I tore up the letter & moved on. A few months later, he sent a similar letter to a Denver talk-show host.

One of my great regrets in life is that i didn’t kick in his door and knock him on his punk ass.

For context: I’ve read Norm Clarke’s work for decades and have been lucky enough to get to know him in recent years. A gentler, more considerate soul you will not meet.

If you’re wondering why many media members are reacting the way they are to Mariotti’s felony domestic assault charge, wonder no more. This is more than just about Mariotti’s writing.

If you still think the reax is over-the-top, let me ask you a question: Has there ever been a higher profile person in the history of sports media who has spent more time passing moral judgement on the subjects he or she covers than Mariotti?


Mariotti built his career on over-the-top hyperbole as it pertains to the personal failings of sports figures.

So why isn’t hyperbole in response to his felony domestic assault charge justified?