I am waiting to hear from Fox Sports on what happened at the end of its telecast of the Baltimore Orioles 13-inning victory over the Detroit Tigers on backup catcher Taylor Teagarden's walk-off homerun. But until I do, let's talk about this like grown-ups, OK?
After Teagarden, who had just been activated for Saturday's game, hit the homer and was duly mobbed by his teammates, he stood on the field for a post-game interview with the Fox announcers in the booth, Bill Ripken and Kenny Albert.
During the interview, he was hit in the face with shaving cream "pies" from his teammates.
His reaction was to say, "shit."
It wasn't uttered in anger. The word just popped out as he tried to wipe the cream out of his eyes.
I watched the entire game, but turned it off before the post-game interview, because what I thought was going to be a few innings of baseball before one team put it away, became a marathon, and my wife wasn't thrilled with the way I spent most of my Saturday.
But the last time I looked at the clock, it was about 8:15 p.m. So, this is late enough on a Saturday night to be adult time.
And if the worst thing your kid is getting into on Saturday night is hearing this word, you and your kid are doing OK as parent and child.
I mean, really, do we want our popular culture so sanitized and white washed that a mild expletive triggered by the incredible emotion of such a moment is deleted?
I mean, here's a backup catcher who had been injured and away from the team for months. For the first half of the season, he had traveled that lonely and uncertain path of rehabbing -- not knowing if he is ever going to get well enough to play again at the major league level.
And on his first day back, he hits a game-winning homerun, and then, his teammates give him the "pies" in the face that say you are one of us.
Come on, it's practically mythic for goodness sake. It's the Hero Quest. The protagonist is cast out on a solitary journey of which the outcome is uncertain. He has to overcome some great obstacle or battle -- in this case, a back injury. He wins that solitary fight, and is immediately thrown into battle with the army on the ramparts of Troy, and strikes the blow the brings the enemy to its knees.
And he is brought back into the community as a warrior and hero instead of hanger-on. This is absolutely Joseph Campbell country.
And all he said is "shit," and America, or that portion of it that cares about the Orioles and Tigers in a regional broadcast, hears it, and we want to get mental? Grow up.
Actually, I would like to hear a little bit more of this spontaneous emotion in live sports. I really would. I don't think folks in their living rooms need to hear the endless reels of "F" bombs regularly sounded on some sports fields during play. But what happened Saturday night on Fox is not a big deal. And if you think it is, I think you need to get more involved in the real world.
As to the seven-second delay, it's not always turned on. Ask Mark Halperin, the co-author of "Game Change, who called President Obama a crude name on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," thinking a seven-second delay would allow the producers to catch it before air. (He knows he was stupid for saying it anyway, and he apologized. My point is it's not always on.)
But I love the excitement and energy of live TV, and I absolutely do not what to live in a media world that's all pablum, predictability and needless censorship.
My guess as to what happened: The delay wasn't on during the game while Ripken and Albert were talking. Would you think it had to be on with them? I wouldn't.
And then, in the excitement of the on-field ending, someone forgot to put it on. The folks in the production truck were probably having no shortage of conversations with Fox mission control folks trying to get the entire nation back on the network schedule.
Let's see what Fox Sports has to say. But I have no problem with what happened, I really don't. And I am not going to act like I do for page views.
And, by the way, Ripken and Albert did a very nice job in the booth -- especially Ripken. In fact, about halfway through the game, I made a note to myself to write about how weak MASN Orioles' telecasts are when Jim Palmer isn't the analyst.