You know the story: Nearly a week after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, David Ortiz took the field at Fenway Park and gave one of the most impassioned speeches you’ll ever hear. You’re also fully aware of what happened roughly six months later.
But something fascinating took place during the time between that might surprise you.
After Ortiz’s speech, many wondered whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would punish the Boston Red Sox legend for saying “this is our f—ing city” on live TV. But thanks to a new piece by Bleacher Report’s Joon Lee, we now know that then-FCC chairman Julius Genachowski not only loved what Ortiz said, but even visited him at Fenway.
“I was paying attention, because it was Boston, and while I’m primarily a Washington Nationals fan, the Boston Red Sox are my American League team,” Genachowski recently told Lee. “I knew that there would be people who saw that he had used the F-word on the airwaves and would ask me, ‘Oh, that’s a violation of the FCC rule, and is the FCC going to punish that?’
“My first thought was, ‘No f–king way are we going to punish this.'”
When Genachowski made plans to visit Boston, Ortiz initially was nervous.
“The FCC came to the field with his whole family,” he recalled to Lee. “He wanted to meet me, and I was like, ‘Oh s–t. I’m in trouble.'”
The two eventually met in the Sox dugout, and Genachowski wound up leaving with the souvenir of a lifetime.
“It was like, ‘Look, you said something that got this city moving forward,'” Ortiz, recalling his conversation with Genachowski, told Lee. “‘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.'”
“I asked Big Papi to sign a baseball,” Genachowski revealed. “And he wrote, ‘To Julius: F–king awesome.'”
So, to recap: Ortiz actually met with the FCC after saying the F-word on live TV, and really wrote the F-word on an autographed ball for the FCC chairman.
And, well, that truly is f—ing awesome.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images