Sure he’s a nice guy, but Steve Stricker just offended all New Yorkers.
Well, to be clear, he didn’t “just” make the offending remark, that came nearly 20 years ago. But author John Feinstein “just” brought Stricker’s comments to the public’s attention in a story for Golf World, which centered around what a spectacularly nice guy the golfer is.
Now, the jist of what Feinstein said was, “Stricker made this remark not knowing it would offend me. It didn’t. But it could have. And for that he was very sorry.”
But the buried lede is…the remark was offensive to New Yorkers.
What the heck happened? Well, Stricker, who was telling Feinstein about his parents as the author researched his 1999 book The Majors, said the following about his ‘rents:
“They’re just sort of the classic Midwesterners. They’re quiet and polite, really nice to everyone. Kind of the anti-New Yorkers if you know what I mean.”
Oh, OK. So New Yorkers are…loud, rude, and not nice? That’s not a very “nice” characterization. And further, it deals in oversimplifications and stereotypes. Really, does a “nice” guy make gross negative generalizations about an entire city’s population?
And Feinstein, as he recounts in his piece, is a native New Yorker, so he had a right to be offended. However, he wasn’t, and rather the author deferred to Stricker, agreeing with the comparison, but Stricker wouldn’t stop apologizing.
Are you following? The substance of the story is the eminent sportswriter saw Stricker again the next day at the tournament at Torrey Pines and, as he writes:
“At the par-3 third hole on the South Course at Torrey Pines, there was a group on the green, so Steve and his fellow competitors had to wait. I was standing on the tee, next to the ropes. Steve walked over.
“I gotta tell you, I had trouble sleeping last night, thinking about what I said to you yesterday,” he said. “I know you said it was OK, but it was still wrong …”
So there you have it. Steve Stricker is such a nice guy that he’d approach a lowly scribe and apologize for something said sportswriter didn’t even take offense at.
Definitely not something he’d have done if he were born in New York, New York, rather than Edgerton, Wisconsin. Right, Steve?