When real tragedy like the bombings at the Boston Marathon last Monday occurs, one of the phrases that gets uttered seemingly every time is that "sports helps the healing process."
Now, most of the time we hear this, it's uttered by someone who makes their living in sports, so the statement may be as grounded in narcissism as it is in truth. Nevertheless, sports at the very least can provide a distraction from the turmoil and an undeniable voice to encourage moving forward. (Whether this constitutes actual "healing" is up to you.)
In Boston, for sports fans, that voice came forward on Saturday at Fenway Park in the form of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
Now, Boston is a tough town, and certainly in the wake of Monday's attacks on the city, we've heard soundbites here and there from native Bostonians expressing their trademarked defiance. This past week, in a sense, we were all Bostonians, so their belligerence toward these monsters that perpetrated the attack was downright inspiring.
And if you needed one voice to sum it all up, it would be "Big Papi" Ortiz's.
While Ortiz is actually a native of the Dominican Republic, he has evolved into the athlete most synonymous with the city of Boston since Larry Bird. (Tom Brady is in the argument, but what breaks the tie in Ortiz's favor is baseball's place on Boston's landscape and Fenway's proximity to downtown Boston.) So when it came time for the Red Sox to resume baseball and re-establish some sense of normalcy to a city that had been anything but normal the last five days, Big Papi essentially said "Play ball!" in a manner perfectly befitting Boston:
In case you can't play the video, and want or need the text from Ortiz's brief speech, here it is:
"All right, Boston... this jersey that we wear today, it doesn't say Red Sox. It say BOSTON. We want to thank you Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job that they did this past week...
This is our fucking city....
...and nobody gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong!"
And with that, David Ortiz made history by launching the first acceptable F-bomb on a sporting event telecast in the history of televised sports.
How do I know it was acceptable? Well, don't ask me. Ask Julius Genachowski, chairman of the FCC. He tweeted about it yesterday from the FCC's Twitter account:
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David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston - Julius
— The FCC (@FCC) April 20, 2013
So there you have it. Boston is Big Papi's fucking city. Hell, it's my fucking city, it's your fucking city, it's America's fucking city, baby!
Now, someone in Boston please get me my "THIS IS OUR FUCKING CITY!" T-shirt, please!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.