There's a back-story to this question that we'll get to in a moment, but this greeting, as presented by Jon Thoma, is pretty odd without context.
Me: My name is Jon Thoma, great to meet you Coach Meyer. Urban: Are you oriental? #classic— Jonathan Thoma (@JonThoma) April 15, 2012
Seems kind of insensitive, but it really wasn't that bad in context.
Swear on my life. I then spent the next 2 minutes explaining where Malaysia was. He won't forget me!— Jonathan Thoma (@JonThoma) April 15, 2012
Still not quite there, and that still makes the Ohio State football head coach look pretty bad. But alas, the full explanation for the question:
He was just curious about my nationality. But he wasn't sure how to ask. Classic moment. The look on his wife's face was priceless.— Jonathan Thoma (@JonThoma) April 15, 2012
Picturing the puzzled look on Meyer's face as he blurts out, awkwardly, "Are you Oriental?" is pretty great.
And if you're wondering about Thoma's story, it's certainly an interesting one. His nationality is explained below, and his life story can be found here.
A strong work ethic is just a natural part of his upbringing. Thoma's mother is from Malaysia, his father is Caucasian and he was born in a country called Brunei, one of the richest countries in the world. In addition to his athletic exploits at Aquinas, Thoma carries a 3.6 GPA in the classroom.