Stephanie Wei writes about golf for Sports Illustrated and the Wall Street Journal.
She also tweets a lot, because everybody who is anybody tweets a lot, or at least is supposed to.
And what did Ms. Wei send out on her Twitter account late Saturday evening while she was in Akron covering the $8.5 million Bridgestone Invitational?
In response to a friend who asked whether she was going to do any TV work this week, she responded:
“No, I’m in the arsehole of America still, Akron.”
Nice mouth. Nice attitude.
You come to our town to cover one of the biggest and best golf tournaments of the year — it’s regarded by most touring pros as one step below the four major championships — and that’s what you’re typing for all the world to see?
You’d think somebody who graduated from Yale would display a little more in the way of social graces.
Eager to learn about Wei’s thought processes, I approached her in the Firestone Country Club media building on Sunday, where she was pecking away on her laptop.
I held up my cell phone, displaying the tweet in question. She looked as if she been nailed in the back with an errant tee-shot.
I turned on my tape recorder.
“It was just a joke,” she said.
“At the Walmart last year — I know one of the deputies that works in Akron, and I needed to go get something, and we were closer to the Walmart.
“My friend and I said, ‘We’ll just go to the Walmart,’ and the deputy kind of got a little bit weird about it and said, ‘At least go to Target. There’s probably more selection.’
“We’re like, ‘OK.’ And after we leave the Target, he said, ‘Sorry, I can’t go into the Walmart without my gun.’ …
“He was being completely serious.”
So you are proclaiming Akron to be the Worst Location in the Nation based on one Walmart? Just how much of Akron have you seen?
“This was last year. This year I haven’t done anything. I’ve just kind of stayed put. So I really was just joking around, messing around a little bit.”
Tee hee hee.
The Bridgestone Invitational issued 355 media credentials this year to 114 organizations from 11 countries. Few of those organizations have a higher profile than Sports Illustrated or the Wall Street Journal.
Giggle, giggle, giggle.
After I confronted her, Wei issued the following tweet:
“LOL..apparently a tweet in jest re: Akron last night offended some people. My apologies. It was an offhand comment, not meant seriously.”
Of course not.
Except, on Twitter, no comment is ever just “offhand.” You should talk to a fellow sports writer by the name of Tony Grossi.
Make that a former sports writer. He used to cover the Cleveland Browns for the Plain Dealer, but he made an “offhand” crack about the owner of the team, opining that the gent was “a pathetic figure.”
Hardy har har.
Maybe Wei just needs to get out more.
Maybe she should drive her rental car to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and hike through some of the breathtakingly beautiful 33,000 acres open to anyone who wants to enjoy them.
Or maybe she could just walk across the street from the Firestone media building into Firestone Metro Park, one of many lush oases found all over Greater Akron.
Maybe she could take in an Aeros game at one of the nicest ballparks in the minor leagues.
Maybe she could take a ride through Glenmoor, the Jackson Township neighborhood where Tiger Woods stays when he’s in town. Or drive through some of the other spectacular neighborhoods in places like Bath, Richfield and Granger townships.
Maybe she should talk to CBS’ Jim Nantz, who was singing the praises of one of our many great local restaurants, Vaccaro’s Trattoria, on national television.
Maybe she should just randomly stop a few people on the street and ask them why they live in a place that’s big enough to have what they need, but small enough to feel like home, a place where people care about their history and care about their neighbors, a place where they can settle down and raise a family and have an excellent chance of finding a deep sense of fulfillment.
Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Maybe you guys have some ideas of your own and would like to pass them along to her.
If you want to tell Stephanie Wei where to go, her Twitter tag is:
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.