David Ortiz dropped his infamous "f-bomb" in front of thousands at Fenway Park and few million more watching on NESN and listening live on the WEEI radio network. [It was muted on ESPN.]
It won Ortiz national accolades and further secured his role in Red Sox history months before he hit .688 in the World Series.
Pembroke [N.H] Academy guard Pat Welch dropped his "f-bomb" on Twitter. So he was toast.
Welch handled himself well enough on the court to earn the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization's Division II Player of the Year Award after Welch's Spartans beat Portsmouth High for the NHIAA Division II boys' basketball state championship on March 15.
Winning the title wasn't enough for Welch.
He took to Twitter at @PatrickWelch_15 and offered this gem:
"Shout out to Portsmouth, you may have won during the regular season......But we won the ship you suck #f--kyourself"
[The R-Rated version can be seen here.]
Using the "f-bomb" as a verb often doesn't end well.
The Tweet survived for all of 15 minutes before it was "deleted." [Note to Pat and his peers - for some reason, every Tweet ever Tweeted is archived by the Library of Congress. Deleting is far often worse than Tweeting.]
Pembroke Academy coach Matt Alosa told the
Manchester New Hampshire Union-Leader that Welch apologized in person to members of the Portsmouth administration for what he posted. "Our principal [Michael Reardon] and athletic director [Suzanne Klink] drove with Pat to Portsmouth and he personally apologized to their athletic director, principal and coach."
Went for a nice afternoon drive with Dr. Reardon and Mrs. Klink we had inspiring conversations and the best part Dr. Reardon bought me lunch— Patrick Welch (@PatrickWelch_15) March 20, 2014
It's certain, by now, Patrick knows he embarrassed himself, his family, his teammates, his coach and his school. Sportsmanship and class is a learned behavior. Mistakes like this are a painful part of the process. That should have been the end of this tale. Teen-aged boy allows emotions to get the better of his judgment. He says/Tweets something profane, classless and immature. He apologies to those he "wronged" and, hopefully, he learns his lesson.
But the learning curve wasn't steep enough for the folks who run the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization. They wanted a figurative public execution for Welch's youthful indiscretion. Welch was stripped of his award because he "displayed flagrant un-sportsmanlike behavior."
Look at us. We're really tough on those darn foul-mouthed kids.
Welch was also barred from representing his school at the subsequent senior games this past weekend or at the Twin State game vs. Vermont this summer.
According to a statement from the NHBCO president Gary Noyes, the "award is not based solely on a basketball player's ability but also on that player's character and demonstrated sportsmanship."
There's no evidence presented publicly that Pat displayed poor sportsmanship on the court, just on his iPhone.
About the only thing more annoying than the idiocy and falsehoods you see on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media channel that affords someone the chance to make a fool of themselves, is the "Ten Commandments" clout given every foolish, profane and innocuous Tweet.
So-and-so Tweeted "whatever." Call the PC Police. Execution at noon tomorrow.
Twitter is especially fake, although its lack of veracity is often rivaled by many of those "trending" You Tube videos you so often seen posted as "news." Much of what is Tweeted has little bearing on reality, including my line about how the Patriots will beat the Broncos in the AFC title game. Yet it is all taken so seriously by so many serious people, real and faux journalists, yours truly included.
ICYMI: Here's our analysis of Super Bowl Sunday on Twitter:
4. Twitter is often fake
I HAD SAFETY ON THE FIRST PLAY IN VEGAS !!!!!!!!!! 1mm to 1.. $20mm BABY. #Unbelievable— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 2, 2014
On-line sports books taking action on the play had the odds of the first score being a Seattle safety at 4000-1. That didn't stop Mark Cuban from this claim that he made $20,000,000. He didn't.
J.C. Penney did this one better. Self-righteousness ruled the night as J.C. Penney posted a series of Tweets replete with typos.
Last laugh goes to the struggling retailer.
And nope, Floyd "Money" Mayweather, who loves to boast on Twitter about his gambling exploits, did not lose $10.4 million on the Broncos, in spite of this Tweet and some internet reports to the contrary:
*Betting Info* Floyd Mayweather L48hours bet 10.4Million on Broncos -2 (Action with 7 different shops + 4 offshore accts) 8Million in credit— Vegas Gambling Steam (@Pregame_Steam) January 27, 2014
After the game, Mayweather took to Instagram to refute the Twitter rumors.
Didn't this guy used to be boxer?
Going to Instagram to correct Twitter. Priceless. And yet, so many take it as gospel.
The height of Twittidiocy occurred when former PR executive Justine Sacco posted an AIDS joke, complete with racial overtones, before a flight from London to South Africa. At the time, Sacco had fewer than 500 followers. Her "joke" and #HasJustineLandedYet quickly became top-trending topics across the English-speaking Twitterverse. Sadly for Justine, her 11-hour flight did not have internet access. By the time her flight landed, she had already been fired publicly, been the subject of multiple death threats and was being stalked by "citizen journalists" [or would-be assailants] at the Cape Town, South Africa airport. Her past Tweets had been shared with the universe and she had been called everything Bobby Valentine was called in Boston during the 2012 season.
Her Tweet was foolish, gross and irresponsible, especially given the fact she was a "PR executive." But had it simply been ignored by social media's self-appointed defenders of culture and the offensive, it would have had zero impact, except perhaps between Justine and her ex-bosses. Yet, millions have no lives. So no disgusting Tweet is ignored. Had Sacco been a plumber, salesperson or nurse, her dumbassity would have likely remained in social media purgatory.
Foolishness, hate, swill and verbal fecal matter posted by those with no credibility, or effect on our lives, is best left ignored. Words only harm us when we give them the power to do so. I'm not sure if someone else said that first. If they did, they were very wise.
The issue of teen-agers and the ability to spread their youthful impulses worldwide on social media has become cliché already in 2014.
This is where we're at, America. The character of every teen-ager is going to be assessed by their worst Tweet. Those of us over 20-something didn't have the temptations of social media to spread our youthful stupidity. But we will happily execute those do now. Kids, don't you just love adult hypocrisy. This is an incredible double-standard, in addition to the penalty being a million times worse than the crime in Pat's case.
This no different than telling a 16-year-old who gets a speeding ticket that he cannot drive until he's 25. You take away his car for a month. You don't smash his iPhone and X-Box, in the process. We are pounding away on teen-agers for what they post on social media, yet many of us would have done the same had we the chance. Try teaching before preaching.
The kicker here is that not only was Pat stripped of his award, it was given to someone else. Talk about an asterisk: * - Won A Basketball Award For Not Tweeting Dumb Stuff.
Yeah, it's fashionable to say "This kid learned his lesson. Get off my damn lawn! Where are my keys?!?!"
Which lesson is that? Avoid dumb things on Twitter or over-react to dumb things on Twitter.
[A suggestion: Restore Patrick's award, let the other boy keeps his [three wrongs don't make a right] and let Patrick play in the Twin State game.]
What young Patrick Tweeted has probably been said in one shape or another during every championship game since Dr. Naismith raised the peach baskets. If Larry Bird, the all-time king of Trash Talk, had Twitter in high school or college, he may have never made the cover of Sports Illustrated with those two cheerleaders back in 1977, never mind the NCAA title game and the Boston Celtics two years later.
Bird didn't need Twitter to tell 100,000 or so people at City Hall Plaza in 1981 that Moses Malone's culinary preferences include scatalogical material.
He just said it, got a raucous ovation, and locked down his place in Boston sports history.
And no one touched his 1980 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, either.
The OBF Blog is written by award-winning journalist and Bay State native Bill Speros. Got a news tip, want to let him know directly what you think, have a complaint or compliment about his "aggressively relevant" content or hate people who speak about themselves in the third person, hit him up on his Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks always for reading and pass the clicker.