It was the F-bomb heard all around the stadium… and in millions of homes across the country as the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson grounded out to first in Thursday night’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants.
Normally, such cursing would have gone unnoticed, drowned out by the noise from a stadium packed full of fans.
But in the age of COVID, Pederson’s swearing was easily picked up by microphones set up around the perimeter of the field for the television broadcast on ESPN.
Joc Pederson shouts expletives after grounding out to first. pic.twitter.com/eclaPNxbtq
In fact, Pederson could be heard swearing twice, first soon after striking the ball and then for a second time as he reached first base have been ground out.
‘Get over, get over, f***!’ Pederson said after hitting a ball toward first base before shouting ‘F***!’ even more emphatically as is echoed around the stands.
The commentator on ESPN noted the expletive moments after the utterance.
‘Joc Pederson you can hear because the stadium is empty…’ he said. ‘Pederson, unhappy at himself…’ he continued.
The absence of any tape delay meant that the sports network was unable to bleep out or cut the sound.
Such occurrences may well happen frequently until players get used to the fact that no crowds are going to be in attendance and they can be easily heard.
Earlier this month, NBA commissioner Adam Silver had suggested using a tape delay in case of any inadvertent swearing.
‘I think often players, they understand when they’re on the floor, they’re saying certain things to each other because it’s so loud in the arena, they know a lot of it is not being picked up, but they may have to adapt their language a little bit knowing what they say will likely be picked up by microphones and in all seriousness, we may need to put a little bit of a delay,’ he said to CBS Sports.
In fact, all the sounds of the opening game of the delayed season were amplified with only cardboard cutouts of fans in certain areas of the stands.
The crack of the bat on a sharply hit ball, the DJ’s music echoing and foul balls clunking loudly upon landing in the seats could all be heard clearly by those watching at home.
It didn’t take long before those watching the game at home took to Twitter to mock the moment.