Having shed his pinstriped suit of choice for a hockey jersey Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stepped in front of the TV cameras and a full house at Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Kings had won hockey's Stanley Cup championship just three days before.
"There are two rules in politics," Garcetti told the 19,000 gathered. "They say never ever be pictured with a drink in your hand. And never ever swear.'' Then he added dramatically: "But this is a big f**king day. Way to go, guys."
Within minutes, Garcetti's remarks were appearing uncensored on YouTube, just as Fox Sports was apologizing for letting them get on the air.
"He said that?" Thomas Hollihan, an expert on political discourse at the University of Southern California, asked incredulously.
This was, after all, not some drunken musician accepting an award somewhere. This was the mayor of the nation's second-largest city.
"When you're an elected official, people have a higher expectation for your speech, your conduct and context than they would if you're an entertainer," said Hollihan.
He added he hoped Garcetti, whose public persona is normally mild, wasn't trying to boost his hipness cred.
The mayor's official Twitter account repeated much of what he said — with the hashtag BFD.
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live later Monday, Garcetti got a round of cheers when Kimmel told him "I enjoyed your performance at the rally today."
Garcetti replied, "I got a little ahead of myself. But you've got to remember, we didn't win at lawn bowling, we won in hockey." Then he added: "Kids out there, do not say what your mayor said today."