Another case of supersensitivity
NBC golf commentator Johnny Miller got himself in hot water with his remarks during the dramatic U.S. Open battle between Tiger Woods and Western Pennsylvania's own Rocco Mediate, above, and I'm sure at the time, he had no idea anyone would be offended by what he said. But as Miller should know, everyone is offended by everything these days. Miller commented, probably in reference to the players' differing physiques and athleticism, that Rocco "looks like the guy who cleans Tiger's swimming pool." At another point, he said, "Guys with the name 'Rocco' don't get on the trophy, do they?" Well, it appears NBC must have gotten a few calls from some Italian-Americans who took umbrage at Miller's comments, because the analyst issued the standard statement, through the network, that he wanted to "apologize to anyone who was offended by my remarks," and he made it clear that what he said was not related to Rocco's "ethnicity." "My intention was to convey my affection and admiration for Rocco's everyman qualities," said Miller. This is a real eye-opener for me. I had not been aware of the great subculture of Italian-American pool boys. And while there have been U.S. Open winners of Italian descent (Gene Sarazen, Tony Manero, for example), I, like Miller, did not recall a "Rocco" claiming the trophy. But Miller says that in the future, he will choose his words more carefully. That's a shame for all of us if Miller becomes just another boring talking head. The network will put the clamps on what many viewers liked best about Miller: He called a spade a spade. Oh, crap. I'm going to get in trouble for that one. I immediately issue an apology to all sharp garden implements.