Equal Opportunity Offender


Jan Stephenson didnt attack just Asians in the now-infamous interview in Golf Magazine that hit the newsstands Monday. She went after everybody, it seems, except Don Zimmer.
She took more shots than Allen Iverson. She offended more people than raw sewage.
The gratuitous swipees included, (directly or indirectly), Tiger Woods, Butch Harmon, Tom Kite, Ben Wright, David Duval, Ty Votaw, Betsy King, John Laupheimer, Jim Rome, Hootie Johnson and Nancy Lopez.
But the most serious charges leveled by Stephenson in the interview were aimed at Tommy Roy, the executive producer of NBC Sports. Roy is one of the most powerful men in the golf industry and enjoys a solid reputation deep inside the game.
In the interview, Stephenson claimed Roy asked her to do a commentary at the Nabisco tournament years ago but changed his mind when Lopez missed the cut and insisted on taking Stephensons place. Stephenson also said that at a later meeting she called Roy gutless, for not using her on the air.
They fired me before I ever went on TV, Stephenson told Golf Magazine. I was pretty embarrassed.
Problem is, said Roy Tuesday, neither of the incidents ever took place. If somebody called me gutless, Roy said, I would remember. This is a case either of misidentification or fabrication.
NBC sources say Golf Magazine never called to fact-check Stephensons charges against Roy. Golf Magazine editor Kevin Cook said Tuesday that, on the contrary the whole story went through the fact-checking process.
One of the bottom lines of this whole messy business is we shouldnt expect too many of Stephensons new found enemies to be invited to the same holiday cocktail parties as Stephenson.
The interview itself was compelling whether you thought it bawdy and delightful or wholly in bad taste. And at the end, Stephenson told Golf Magazine interviewer Peter Kessler, Yes, I think weve caused enough trouble.
Was Jan telling us, I guess I never had the golden touch in bed, with my men or my putter, more than we needed to know?
Was her observation that Ben Wright has got breasts as big as mine now a low blow?
But the accusations directed at Roy, one of golfs most powerful and respected bosses, pretty much came out of nowhere.
I have had conversations with Jan over the years, Roy said. And I was open to the idea of her being on the air. At least until this interview came out, I was.
Meanwhile Stephenson continues to carry baggage. She should get high marks for quickly apologizing about her contention that Asian players are killing the LPGA because they arent fan or sponsor friendly enough.
But the enmity towards the popular Lopez clearly still simmers. Were good friends, Stephenson said. But it was always one against the other'the good American girl against the big calendar sex deal. It seemed like she always beat me coming down the stretch, so the TV thing was one more: God, Nancy beat me out again.
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