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Sport and Football Essays

Leeander Ragland Prof. Milne Eng 101-25 29 February 2012 Respect Athletic Sports have come a long way since basketball was played with milk crates and flat balls in the alleys of the poor and rich alike. One may ask, why should I be concerned with the senseless sweating and hours of practice of those who enjoy sports? The answer is one that will open your eyes to the fulfillment sports can bring whether recreational or competitive. Sport activities offer a variety of lifelong qualities and provide those who participate a sense of happiness like no other.
Jennie Yabroff the author of “In Defense of Cheering”sheds light to her audience on why Cheering should be taken as seriously as any other sport. In contrast Felisa Rogers the author of “How I Learned to Love Football” tells a story of how she once despised the great American game of football to how she grew ecstatic about its very nature. Both women have admiration for their respective sports and want to encourage others to share their love of sports through their use of ethos and pathos, with pathos being more effective. Cheerleading is a physical activity that I think most are aware of.
Some qualify it as a sport which should receive the same notoriety as an even more familiar game such as basketball. Jennie Yabroff belongs to that community. There are also those who dismiss it as mindless women dancing for their health. I myself at one point in my life doubted the aspects of cheering and didn’t qualify it as a legitimate sport. I have grown out of that stubborn mindset and held cheering to the same standards as other sports. Jennie Yarbroff has something to say to the sport of cheering doubters and she defends the sport throughout her essay.
Football is a sport that is native to America and is recognized worldwide. There aren’t as many who would disagree as to whether it should be considered a sport or not but there are still those who have no interest in recognizing it as a prolific game. Felisa Rogers once was a part of those who had not a care in the world who won the Superbowl, the championship game of the National Football League although it is the most watched program ever aired on television. Who could deny the greatness of the game? Ms.
Rogers guides her readers through her realization of what the sport of football could provide to those who embrace it. Both “How I Learned to Love Football” and “In Defense of Cheering” contain the rhetorical appeal ethos or credibility. They both have to prove to an audience as to why you should adopt their perspectives on their respective sports. This wouldn’t be possible without them conveying to us why we should believe their accusations by proving their qualified to do so. The way Rogers convinces her audience is through her telling a story.
Personal accounts or stories automatically improve an author’s ethos or credibility by guiding us step by step through their actual lives. This is what Rogers does in her transformation of disliking football to admiring it. Yabroff’s essay contains something similar because she herself was a cheerleader as a teen. She doesn’t tell the story from a first person point of view, but her ethos is just as credible as Rogers because of her research done on the topic of cheering. In the beginning of both essays the authors introduce their topics bluntly. Rich likes to tell me about football” (529) says Rogers in her opening sentence. Rich is her husband who is an avid supporter of the Green Bay Packers an NFL football team and its quarterback Brett Favre. When you read that sentence you get the sense that Rogers isn’t too concerned with the sport of football in her non- chalant tone. In the next paragraph after speeding through some of the things she has heard from her husband about the Packers she informs us that “After a while my eyes would glaze over and I’d find myself thinking about Thursday’s dinner plans or perhaps Alexander Hamilton” (529).
Rogers dignifies the ignoring of her husband’s rants about football by simply asserting to him “You’re talking about football! ” (529) Dismissing her husband, Rogers exemplifies first the doubt and ignorance towards football she has and second shows the beginning phase of her liking of football which improves her ethos throughout her argument. “The team is in bad shape. One member has a broken rib. The other, a possible concussion from a nasty fall” (524). These are the first two sentences of Yabroff’s essay.
With these descriptive words Yarbroff paints a vivid picture in the minds of her readers, also telling a story. The team has been practicing all night Yabroff goes to explain. How could you not respect such hard work and dedication? Usually what encourages a team to work harder are cheerleaders, the ones whose job is to raise spirits. The only problem with this solution in Yabroff’s illustration of the fatigued team, is that the team is a team of cheerleaders. This story proves that cheering has the qualities of any other sports team in terms of the strain, perserverance and hardwork it requires.
Emotion or pathos is a tool utilized by both authors to make the readers more engaged in their arguments. This is true when Yabroff explains the plights of a cheerleading team during an intense practice. When you read of a team’s sacrifice you sympathize with them and admire their efforts. This admiration for hard word shouldn’t be limited to just popular sports such as football but cheering as well. The appeal to pathos in Rogers essay differs slightly but serves the same purpose. Shortly after Rogers was married, her husband Rich began going through a crisis in his life.
He was laid off from his job, their cat was struck by a car, and his family wasn’t well. Throughout this period of turmoil Rich was constantly worried “Except when he talked about the Green Bay Packers” (532) says Rogers. There is obviously something embedded in the game of football that creates peace of mind in Rich’s life. Although Rich is not at the most joyous point in his life football creates in him happiness when discussed. When we realize some effects that the game of football can have on an individual it forces us to respect the game no matter what it entails because of its positive impact.
The tone of these essays differ somewhat. One is a narrative which has an informal tone and the other is persuasive essay and more conventional. Rogers essay s written for a blogging website, uses simple diction and is conversational. It walks us through a transformation in her perspective on football through her simplistic thought process. Roger’s essay being told in first person gives insight to her personal feelings on her subject. In Defense of Cheering was written for a newspaper. The tone in Yabroffs essay is written more formal.
She introduces cheering and sort of just gives her audience a list of reasons why cheering should be considered a sport following it. This is the main component of Yabroff’s essay and has a defensive tone. Rogers isn’t necessarily demanding her audience to share her love for football like Yabroff does but relies on her personal account to speak for her. Arrangement is a component that was similar in the formation of both arguments. Near the beginning of Yabroffs essay she spends a decent portion of her essay explaining the history of cheering and its ridicule.
She mentions Kate Torgvnick, the author of Cheer who followed four random cheer teams for a year. None of the teams monitored “fit the stereotype of vapid blondes doing splits on the sidelines. She also asserts that “The image of the cheerleader straddles the virgin/whore line…She’s either the straight A prom queen or the short skirt, slutty queen –bee kind of girl” (527). These negative stereotypes of cheering sheds light to why cheering is dismissed at not being a sport and makes her audience contemplate whether its fair. Similarly Rogers explains to her audience her reasons for not enjoying football in the beginning.
Growing up Roger’s family raised her to believe that “…football and baseball were the province of Neanderthal types…” (530). She refers to her dislike of football as “genetic”. Throughout Roger’s story she justifies her reasons for not enjoying football rather than simply stating them like Yabroff. Rogers uses her negative views towards football to highlight her metamorphosis and Yabroff uses the stereotypes of the sport of cheering as a stepping stone to explain why you shouldn’t adopt the stereotypes. They both start with negatives and use them to formulate their argument.

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