Monday, June 23, 2008

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.

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be too surprised. In 1994, Augusta made CBS remove Gary McCord from the Masters because he said the greens were so smooth they looked like they had been bikini waxed. Just think what trouble there would have been if Miller had reversed the references or if he had said this about Lee Trevino back when everyone thought all pool boys were Hispanic.

June 23, 2008 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

And Masters chairman Cliff Roberts banned Jack Whitaker from the hallowed Augusta National grounds for calling the gallery running about the course a "mob." Cliff later shot himself on the Augusta National grounds, leaving quite a mess, I assume, for the grounds crew. And, yes, if Miller had made a remark about Tiger similar to what he said about Mediate, he'd probably already be in prison. My favorite story about misplaced outrage occurred in Washington, D.C., some years back when a local official was hounded from his job because he used the word "niggardly." It's a perfectly good word, but people, in general, are stupid, and they went nuts.

June 23, 2008 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Brant, you can expect to hear from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on this one. (I refuse to acknowledge either of these clowns as reverends. There is nothing reverend about either of them.) You see, not only did you use the word "spade" with utter disregard for the garden implements, but you callously excluded an entire segment of the population. Yes, my friend, you excluded a full quarter of this group from your thoughts. You failed to consider the deck of cards.

As an infrequent poker player, I am extremely offended by your callous disregard for other segments of our society, and I have filed suit for damages. You hurt my feelings, you bastard! And you're going to pay! You fail to recognize diversity when it looks you in the face.

I demand an apology and compensatory damages from you, the O-R, your bride and your dogs. By the way, are they "spayed?"

June 23, 2008 at 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priguy, I found your last comment to be clever... I was hung up on one issue though: your math... How do the spades in a deck of cards represent one quarter of the spade population? If taken separately, they would be a vast majority... If taken collectively, they should represent one half. If you could explain that part, I will be able to sleep tonight.

Anyway... what really gets my goat in issues such as these, is that he meant it as a COMPLIMENT... sure, if you say something retarded and "mean it as a compliment" it still doesn't excuse what you said (imus)... but it wasn't even an ignorant statement... anyone have tape? I have to put my head back together...

-Ellipses... who hasn't been able to sign in since Firefox 3.

June 23, 2008 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Remember that we live in a hyper-sensitive-too-quick-to-litigate society, so even if what the man said was meant as a compliment, someone is going to get offended. I know that I'd never want to do live commentary on television or radio.

I was referring to the four suits in a deck of cards. Good night, ellipses.

BTW, I use firefox as my browser. Sometimes, no matter what, I can't sign in. It tells me I have an incorrect password. I have Vista, too, and that allows you to create ID cards so that you don't have to go through with this, but it still does it. In fact, it did it today. I just go to the Google link to sign up and create the very same identity with the very same password and it will let me back on as PRIguy every time. It even "remembers" all the stuff as I type it in. It does the same from my work computer too and works the same. Try that.

June 23, 2008 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Thanks... I had been automatically signed in for a long time... when I upgraded, it cleared my cache or my signed in status or whatever... I did end up going to google to sign in and it turns out that I had been using the wrong user name. Anyway, Priguy, thanks for clearing that up... I could prolong the discussion on how you equated 25%, but that's ridiculous and will not serve as any compelling reason for people to visit Brant's blog... Shoot, that means I should include something profound... uh... seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old, seek what they have sought.

-Ellipses... blue name and all!

June 23, 2008 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

ellipses, keep in mind that sarcasm, cynicism and being sardonic all work too. While we all enjoy reading profound comments, a little humor always is welcome.

Actually, could you go on and discuss my 25% theory a bit? I'm curious what you think of it.

June 23, 2008 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Okey dokey priguy... The spades in a deck of cards = 25% of the population of suits in the deck. However, if you include garden implements you end up with :

Garden spades
Spades
Hearts
Diamonds
Clubs

Therefore... by only mentioning the garden variety spade (clever play on words, thank you)... you would be representing 50% of the spade population (garden spade = half and playing card spade = half). If you count the playing card spade as 25% of the playing card population, but consider the whole deck, as well as the garden tools, as your total population, then mentioning just the tools would be representing only 20% of the population.

In researching the etymology of the phrase, I happened across the story of Sir Gerald Nabarro, a Tory politician who, in an attempt to come off as an "everyman" would say that he calls a spade a shovel... effectively lowering his diction to appeal to a more massive audience.

So... to call a spade a spade is like calling a gerkin a gerkin... if you want to speak plainly, it's a pickle.

-Ellipses... proving there is always more than one way to skin a cat

June 23, 2008 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Thank you for elucidating on the spades, and I got a kick out of the play on words. I also think that you and I have a bit too much time on our hands...haha.

June 24, 2008 at 4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On behalf of Hearts and Diamonds, I demand that you apologize for leaving our Red brothers and sisters out of your discussion. Talk about not playing with full deck ...

June 24, 2008 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Keep it up, and I'll club ya.

June 24, 2008 at 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Suit" yourself.

When it comes to being straightforward, I have always been one to call a spade an implement for digging.

June 24, 2008 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

You guys are just "flush" with puns aren't you?

Priguy, Brant and Roger are "3 of a kind..." "jokers"

I'm all out... I have played my "ace in the hole."

-Ellipses

June 24, 2008 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Perhaps you should go outside and relax on your deck. A pleasant evening is in the cards for you.

June 24, 2008 at 7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, does someone embarrassed by homosexuality display a straight flush?

June 28, 2008 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I think the previous comment wins!

July 6, 2008 at 5:39 AM  

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