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Jake Castellini Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric Rhetorical analysis paper: RD1 For most of the viewers of ESPNs

flagship program SportsCenter, watching the show is as much a part of a daily routine as getting dressed or brushing your teeth. In their This is SportsCenter advertising campaign, different forms of sports-related humor, and a wide range of sports superstars are used to make their already faithful audience feel more connected with the show. The general setup of these commercials features a highly recognizable professional athlete, always one of the best in the world at their respective sport, interacting with the cast of the show in everyday office situations. The humor generally comes from some joke based on the athletes reputation or the nature of the sport or the position that they play. Word last sentence clearer, use commas instead of or Some of theses remove s commercials are certainly geared toward a specific audience as they do require a good bit of prior sports knowledge to understand the humor. One example is the commercial featuring Jamaican sprinter and world record holder in the one-hundred meter dash, Usain Bolt. It opens with SportsCenter anchors John Anderson and Jay Harris at the office punch clock having what in and of itself is a rather humorous conversation about getting a good parking spot, when Bolt enters, quickly punches his card runs off screen, then returns moments later. As he punches his card again the camera pans out to show a large digital clock that stops at 9.69s, to which Anderson says, Slow day huh? and Bolt responds, A little. To get the joke here, the audience is expected to know who Bolt is and that his world record for the hundred meters is 9.57s. This may limit the audience that they can reach, but, anyone who watches SportsCenter consistently could recognize Bolt and know that he is world record holder.perhaps make another paragraph There is another joke that would be hard to follow without a good bit of sports

knowledge in the commercial featuring former golfer Arnold Palmer. In this commercial SportsCenter anchors Stuart Scott and Scott Van Pelt, watch as Palmer, followed by a caddy, pours himself a lemonade-iced tea half and half in the SportsCenter office lunch room. In awe, Van Pelt whispers, That was awesome! and Scott responds, I know! To get the joke, the viewer has to recognize that the old man pouring his drink is in fact Arnold Palmer, and that the half-and-half drink he pours himself is a drink he made famous, commonly referred to as an Arnold Palmer. Many people would watch this commercial and, understandably, have no idea what the joke was. But those who are avid fans of golf would share in Scott and Van Pelts awe of the situation, and find the commercial extremely humorous. While these somewhat hard to get jokes may ostracize some viewers who have little or no sports knowledge, they may also intrigue some of the less religious fans of the show. If they do not get the joke it may encourage them to watch SportsCenter more often in order to gain the sports knowledge necessary to understand it. SportsCenter has also used several commercials that refer of the big sports being covered at the time. For example the commercial about the Brett Favre System. In the last few off seasons of NFL quarterback Brett Favres career, it seemed like everyday there was a different story on SportsCenter about his retirement. One day a source would say Hes coming back and the next day a different source would say Hes retiring. This commercial opens with anchor Steve Levy saying that they had to come up with a system to keep it straight. After the source call comes in, a chain of people yelling Hes coming back! echos through the offices of SportsCenter. The chain ends when it gets to University of Massachusetts mascot, Sam the Minuteman, who then holds up two lanterns in the window. The joke here is an allusion to the one if by land, two if by sea story about Massachusetts minutemen in the revolutionary war, which can be understood without any sports knowledge at all. But it was also SportsCenters way saying to their faithful audience, We

know this whole will-he wont-he stuff is getting old, we are getting annoyed by it too. By making fun of this subject which most of their audience was already pretty annoyed with SportsCenter is further endearing itself to its audience. Another way that this advertising campaign uses humor to appeal to their audience is through self degredating humor with their hosts. A great example of this is the commercial featuring NFL running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson is telling anchor Scott Van Pelt at the office copier, about his nickname AD for All Day. When Peterson asks Van Pelt if he has any nicknames he responds hesitantly, Nahh, not really. But then fellow anchors Jay Harris and John Buccigross walk by, both referring to Van Pelt by the nickname Bed Wetter. The humor here is obvious, the show is using self-degredating humor in order to make the audience feel some sympathy toward Van Pelt, thereby endearing the host, and by extension the show, to its audience. Another example of this is the commercial featuring US womens soccer players, Alex Morgan and Hope Solo. Solo, Morgan, and the Miami Dolphins mascot are dribbling a soccer ball by the SportsCenter water cooler when Jay Harris comes up and asks to join. When Harris is passed the ball he makes an embarrassingly unathletic attempt to kick it and sends it straight into the side of a cubicle. Again , by embarrassing himself in a funny way Harris endearing himself and the show to the audience. Good paragraph focusing on humor, which is pathos. This advertising campaign also makes an effort to appeal to as many segments of SportsCenters viewing audience as possible. They do this by having athletes from many different sports and many different market areas. For example boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, tennis player Maria Sharipova, star golfer Tiger Woods, NHL all-star Alex Ovechkin, UFC champion George St. Pierre, and more all make appearances in This is SportsCenter commercials. By using stars from so many different sports they are advertising

how SportsCenter really does give the news for all sports, its not just for football, baseball, and basketball fans. SportsCenters ability to get all of these different extremely high-profile athletes to do their commercials, also adds to their credibility. If SportsCenter were not really the Worldwide Leader in Sports as they claim, they would not be able to get so many of the biggest names in sport to do their commercials. SportsCenter also tries to apply to many different regions by showing players from many different teams and cities. By incorporating athletes from all over the country, SportsCenter adds to their credibility as an unbiased and national distributor of sports news.Great points about ethos. Very creative Another effective way they target different markets is by using, instead of athletes, team mascots in their commercials. There may be viewers who are not the biggest fan of their cities team or may not recognize their teams superstar, but everybody knows and loves their citys mascot. One great example of this is in the commercial featuring Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Reds mascot Mr. Redlegs. This commercial opens with Votto and anchor Karl Ravech washing their hands in the sports center bathroom. The almost completely clean shaven Ravech, examining his face in the mirror, makes a comment to Votto about how he is going to win the mustache contest this year. After Vottos halfhearted acknowledgement of this comment, Mr. Redlegs, with his giant mustache clad baseball head, steps out of the stall. When Mr. Redlegs goes to wash his hand Ravech tells him You're going down this year. Any Reds fan who sees this appreciates the shout out to their team and their city, but at the same time the joke is funny for anyone, even non sports fans. Another good example of a mascot centered humor, is the commercial featuring the New Jersey Devils mascot. In this commercial SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris is getting onto an elevator, already in the elevator is the Devils mascot. Harris asks, Going up? And the Devil responds with a slow menacing shake of the head, the implication obviously

being that he is going to hell. Clearly frightened, Harris squeezes back out the closing doors of the elevator. Again, New Jersey fans appreciate the shout out to their team and city, but everyone can enjoy the simple humor of this commercial.
Overall good essay with many solid points that explain how ethos and pathos are used in these commercials. Just need a good conclusion to re-emphasize thesis and wrap it up. Good points about how rhetoric is used, which is key.