by Reggie Noble on February 20, 2012

“This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the New York Daily News.

“I'm so sorry that I offended people. I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy.”

The 28-year-old understands why he was fired, but insists he failed to make any connection between his word choice and Lin before posting. He says he's used the phrase “at least a 100 times” throughout the years.

Federico called Lin one of his heroes – not just because he's a big Knicks fan, but because he feels a kinship with a fellow “outspoken Christian.”

“My faith is my life,” he said. “I'd love to tell Jeremy what happened and explain that this was an honest mistake.”

Federico wasn't the only ESPN worker to get himself in hot water covering the Linsanity. Anchor Max Bretos was also suspended 30 days for asking Knicks great Walt Frazier a question using the same phrase.