The late Gene Siskel used to get mad when I described Bulls fans as "the North Shore sweater crowd." But really, that about nails it. To this day, people view the United Center as a place to order fruity drinks, watch scoreboard races, wear the new boutique purchase, ooze faux cool and maybe glance at the game on rare occasions when the home team is playing respectably. - Jay Mariotti

March 6, 2008

Mr. Scott Reifert

VP Communications

Chicago White Sox

Dear Scott:

A column on the back-page of this morning's edition of the Chicago Sun-Times inspired me to communicate with you as quickly as possible to which I hope you will immediately forward to White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

It appears that Jay Mariotti is disgruntled and unhappy with the northern region of Chicago. After 15 years of wholeheartedly embracing a rather fanciful cosmopolitan lifestyle, it seems that Mr. Mariotti is eager to return to humble Pennsylvania-like roots and rediscover the alleged simpler tastes of the south side .

And what organization is better suited for such a task to restore Mr. Mariotti's vitality and zest for life than the Chicago White Sox?

Today, Mr. Mariotti wrote very passionately as he urged Chicago fans to "feast" on former Bull Ben Wallace upon his return to the United Center. Big Ben didn't even play two full seasons here and yet Mr. Mariotti finds it in his generous heart to call upon basketball fans to fully express their appreciation of Mr. Wallace's stint as a Chicago Bull.

Such tremendous grace, dignity and class should be returned in kind for Mr. Mariotti. After all, surely only 18 months of athletic service does not remotely compare to 15 years of journalistic prowess that speaks ever so eloquently on behalf of all Chicago sports fans?

A growing contingent of Jay Mariotti followers are thoroughly convinced that the White Sox are best apt to formally invite this cherished sports columnist in celebration of "Jay Mariotti Appreciation Day" this upcoming June 27. Coincidentally, this date is the first game of a Sox home series against the north-side rivals. A raucous U.S. Cellular Field crowd will have ample opportunity to fully honor Mr. Mariotti as he throws out the first pitch of the game and perhaps even sing the national anthem. To help mark the occasion, a special t-shirt promotion for attending fans is already in development.

In addition, to help support his wildly popular 24/7 blog, it is suggested that Mr. Mariotti sit alongside Ozzie Guillen in the Sox dugout to live blog the historic event. As well, Mr. Guillen will have the additional benefit of having a world renown expert in the tactics of strategic baseball managing to add to the Sox's arsenal against the Cubs. We all know the level of respect between these two gentlemen. Surely, Hawk, D.J. and the network would be eager to have live mics on both Mr. Guillen and Mr. Mariotti as the entire viewing audience can listen in on the playful bantering and exchanges of wit.

It appears that the menu over at the United Center is a little too dainty for Mr. Mariotti's taste. Since attending White Sox games is such a rare occasion for the honored guest, it is important that all bases are covered to insure his comfort. To help satisfy his ravishing appetite, perhaps Mr. Reinsdorf could see to it that Mr. Mariotti is provided complimentary brats and beer (and perhaps a cardiologist on standby) during the course of the game. We are aware that this might conflict with MLB dugout rules but assume Commissioner Bud Selig would consent to any agreement involving any event that honors Mr. Mariotti.

We hope enough time remains to organize this event to full detail that it richly deserves. And if volunteers are required to assist White Sox management (ex. Security Staff) for a successful "Jay Mariotti Appreciation Day", please do not hesitate to contact loyal fans at JaytheJoke.

Good luck to the White Sox for a successful 2008 campaign.


Tyrone Briggs

Jay the Joke

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