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Big Papi's slip came from real passion and is fine in my book

By Mike DiMauro

Publication: The Day

Published April 25. 2013 4:00AM

It's a few days removed now since David Ortiz took the microphone at Fenway and, speaking on behalf of the Red Sox, told 35,000 fans over the public address system and a television audience, "This is our f------ city."

It was a bit of a cause célèbre.

Which makes me wonder.

Like, for instance, what if various people throughout history had the same potty mouth as Big Papi?

Oh, the possibilities.

(And thanks to several friends for the contributions).

• "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the f----- earth." (Lou Gehrig)

• "E equals mc f----- squared." (Albert Einstein)

• "Hakuna Ma f----- Tata." (Timba, Pumbaa and Simba)

• "F-----! The British are coming!" (Paul Revere)

OK. You get the idea. There's no reason we can't have a few cheap laughs after a harrowing week, right?

I'm glad Ortiz unburdened himself. He said what many Bostonians were feeling most of last week, especially all day Friday locked in their homes. Even better, he said it with the appropriate tone and attitude, even if it featured one of George Carlin's seven words you can't say on television (before last Saturday).

Even Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski tweeted, "David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston — Julius."

Atta boy, Julius.

Most of us share Genachowski's opinion. Not necessarily behavior we'd condone again, but given the circumstances, Papi was spot on.

You'll note the word "most" from the previous sentence. Not everyone found it appropriate.

Shocking.

One social commentator condemned Ortiz for the "further lowering of our American culture." Sorry. An iconic athlete who has become synonymous with his city echoed a sentiment in the hearts and minds of all the citizens. He gets a pass.

And as for the "lowering of our American culture?"

Are you serious?

I mean, do you pay attention to everyday life?

Our culture gets lowered a little more every day, without the help of David Ortiz.

Listen to the radio. Damnation from soapboxes has replaced civil discourse. Read the papers. Anonymous, hate-filled, online rhetoric has replaced thoughtful, signed letters to the editor. Watch television. Lunatics from the radical right and lunatic left spew their venom to a bunch of sycophants whose last original thought came about the time the American League went to the designated hitter.

Look around. We flip off fellow motorists more often than we yawn. We blame teachers for our kids' shortcomings, not our kids. Or, heaven forbid, ourselves. We text rather than talk. Our sports are littered with steroids. We are still a country of stereotypes. Ignorance. Estrangement from anyone not like ourselves. Bad manners. No manners. Bigotry.

And on the band plays.

But some of the blatherers out there save their moral outrage for the most well-timed, well-placed f-bomb in American history?

I understand there were little kids listening. And no, I don't subscribe to the theory this is permissible because they might hear that stuff in school. I agree: Just because there's a proliferation of potty mouths doesn't give a public figure, a beloved public figure in this case, the green light to cuss.

But, alas, we are not in a fishbowl. Sometimes, circumstances change. Tom Cruise had it right in "Risky Business," when he said, "sometimes, you just gotta say, 'what the (heck).'" And that's what David Ortiz did at the end of the most tumultuous week in Boston's history.

Bravo, Big Papi.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.

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