BREAKING: Jay Mariotti resigns and what that means to you and me

Look, it's 2:40 a.m. and I should be sleeping.

But this is when I do the Daily Dosage. I Google search beautiful girls, recap the Cubs and Sox games and find cool links for you people to read.

No, this site doesn't get much pub other than the people that get the links on Facebook, know me personally or know my work through a friend or a co-worker.

So I usually don't break news this early in the morning but I must...

Jay Mariotti is out at the Chicago Sun-Times, via resignation.

Why wait until the World Wide Leader covers it? Why wait 'til one of the big-time sports blogs cover it? I say do it now because dad gum it, I'm a blogger whose focus has been on Chicago sports since I came out the womb.

Anyway, on with the news of the day.

Mariotti's out. This from the Sun-Times:

Sports columnist Jay Mariotti has left the Chicago Sun-Times to pursue other opportunities. Mariotti, also a regular panelist on ESPN's "Around the Horn," joined the Sun-Times in 1991.

But wait, I could have sworn Mariotti just re-upped with The Bright One...that's right he June.

This from the Chicago Tribune:

He said that he "is talking with a lot of Web sites'' and added that the future of his business "sadly is not in newspapers.''

Do you know what this means people?

Put your hatred aside and think about it. The most polarizing force in Chicago sports media is talking with Web sites and not with newspapers.

Think about it.

Everyday we talk about the dying media that is newspapers. And by "we" I mean everyone at the Daily Egyptian, professors in the journalism department and my friends and family.

If a character like Jay Mariotti needs to hit the Web to get across, people like myself are fucked. And you might think I'm going off the deep end. But we (those of us in the sports journalism) are fucked!

The business is no longer in newspapers? That's all I've wanted to do with my life since I was young.

But wait, there's more:

"I'm a competitor and I get the sense this marketplace doesn't compete,'' he said. "Everyone is hanging on for dear life at both papers. I think probably the days of high stakes competition in Chicago are over.

"To see what's happened in this business...I don't want to go down with it.''

Since I was a kid I've always wanted to be a sports journalist. All I've ever wanted to do is write sports in my hometown (Chicago). Harry Caray, the great Cubs announcer and my idol, told me that one day I'd make it.

He was probably drunk. Or maybe he had an eye on the blondes behind me in search of his "autograph." The point is that I was young and impressionable, and I'll be damned if I don't fulfill the prophecy given to me by my idol.

The worst news (AND THE BURIED LEAD) is that Chicago is going to become a one newspaper town. Everyone suffers when there's no competition. When there's no competition, you tend to become complacent. You settle for less than your best. I, for one, will NOT stand for mediocre sports journalism!

Currently, I'm Assistant Sports Editor at the Daily Egyptian, the student newspaper of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and you can ask anyone that has known me since I was a freshman at SIUC, my goal from day one was to work on the DE's sports desk.

And it's been four years in the making but I'm finally here. And believe me, it was worth waiting the four "next year's" to be here.

If it wasn't for Sean McGahan, who was the managing editor when he recruited me even though he couldn't guarantee me a spot on the sports desk, and Jeff Engelhardt (our incoming hoops expert) who gave me my first shot at the DE sports desk, I wouldn't be where I am today.

So while I realize that blog commenters and critics will rejoice and pop a bottle like they were members of the 1972 Dolphins, realize that the face of sports journalism is changing.

And that's why I'm here. Check it. That's why we're here at The Big Dead Sidebar, and elsewhere.

I realize now I've gone off course, but understand the idea that the newspaper industry is slumping and when a top columnist (love him or hate him) resigns to take opportunities elsewhere because what he's doing "is not with newspapers," bothers me.

If you're a sports journalist out there, it should bother you too.