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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Big Papi's patriotic explicative better than typical sports trash talk

In an emotional speech, Boston's David Ortiz thanks law enforcement and legislators for their efforts in the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath. He ended by riling the crowd by saying "This is our (bleeping) city." (link NSFW)
The Federal Communication Commission, which reportedly has no jurisdiction over the regional cable network NESN (and other cable networks), which carried the speech, applauded Papi's sentiment. ESPN and others censored the explicative on subsequent replays.
Surely there are few who would object to Ortiz's exclamation, but the question remains: How much swearing are sports viewers exposed to on a regular basis? There are literally microphones everywhere and there's only so much a seven-second delay can catch — which are typically utilized only for large national broadcasts.
It seems like basketball games in particular are a hotbed for salty language, because of the players' proximity to a live microphone. Add to that the less-than-stellar crowds at The Palace and you've got yourself explicit language over the airwaves.
I'm not condemning bad language in sports broadcasts, but haven't we heard much worse than the message from Big Papi?


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