As she prepares to work Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in February, Pam Oliver of FOX is getting a head start on winning friends and influencing people in the New York area.
According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, Oliver caused a stir with remarks made at a New York-New Jersey Super Bowl breakfast for regional business leaders.
Per Hubbuch, the comments came during a roundtable discussion with owners of the Jets and Giants. He writes that Oliver drew “gasps, groans and more than a few boos for her odd and insulting comments.”
For instance, when Al Kelly, the chairman of the New York-New Jersey Super Bowl Committee, said there would probably be “a couple of idiots” who wouldn’t dress appropriately for the conditions at the game, Oliver said, “Probably Jets fans.”
She also asked Jets owner Woody Johnson, “How does Rex [Ryan] keep his job?” Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch was asked, “[W]hat in the hell is the matter with the Giants?”
Hubbuch writes that the crowd of roughly 50 “roared” when Oliver asked Kelly and the team representatives how they intended “to instruct people of this area, particularly New Yorkers, to be nice? To say ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘I’ll get that’?”
She then added, “I’m sorry — I’m from the South.”
“I’m from New York City, and I take exception with that,” Tisch said. “New Yorkers are unbelievably hospitable.”
While Oliver was out of line, let’s not go too crazy on the actual or perceived hospitality of New Yorkers. Unless it’s now considered polite to barge onto an elevator before the person who is on the elevator has had a chance to exit.
The whole thing is a bit bizarre. FOX will be televising the game, and Oliver presumably will be working the sideline during the game. There’s no reason to gratuitously alienate the people who are helping host the event that FOX will be broadcasting.