Over at Bleacher Report today, Joon Lee has an oral history of the time when, in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, David Ortiz gave his instantly famous “This is our F***ing city” speech at Fenway Park.
The story is, quite obviously, about the city, the impact of the bombings and the inspirational role Ortiz and the Red Sox played in the recovery from that tragedy. But there is a hilarious side note to it all too.
Ortiz’s speech was on television, of course, and pursuant to FCC guidelines, one is not supposed to drop an F-bomb on broadcast TV when little ears might be listening. Indeed, Ortiz could’ve been fined for that. The then-FCC chairman Julius Genachowski fielded complaints, but he was watching it as it happened and he says in the story that, at the time, he thought to himself “No f–king way are we going to punish this.”
And they did not punish that, later telling Ortiz that the context mattered and the city needed to hear what he had to say. Gee, remember when the FCC did what people wanted?
Eventually Ortiz would meet Genachowski, and Ortiz would give him a gift:
Ortiz: The FCC came to the field with his whole family. He wanted to meet me, and I was like, Oh s–t. I’m in trouble.
Genachowski: We got to meet Big Papi in the dugout.
Ortiz: It was like, “Look, you said something that got this city moving forward. It took the fear out of people. You have no idea what you just said. That’s going to be in the history of New England forever. It was right when we needed it. Don’t worry. We needed that F-bomb.”
Genachowski: I asked Big Papi to sign a baseball, and he wrote, To Julius: F–king awesome.
A photo of the ball is in the story. Go check the entire thing out.