Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rhetorical Analysis: Quarterback Dilemma?

At the beginning of the 2011 BYU football season Jake Heaps was predicted to be one of the best quarterbacks in college football.  Jake Heaps barley pulled off the win against Ole Miss, however he preformed very poorly against Texas.  Heaps threw 2 interceptions in that game.  He went downhill from there.  Throwing bad pass after bad pass and interception after interception.  BYU fans thought all hope was lost until Riley Nelson was put in late in the Utah State University game.  Nelson rallied the troops and brought back the win for BYU.  Since this game Nelson has been tearing up the defenses he plays against with his crisp passing and his speedy running.  Jeremy Kidd has been writing on his blog for every pre-game, game and post-game that BYU has had for years.  Jeremy uses his knowledge of BYU football knowledge, use of words to persuade his audience and his use of metaphors to effectively convince BYU fans that Riley Nelson should start over Jake Heaps.

One major rhetorical tool that Jeremy Kidd uses in his blog is his vast knowledge of BYU football.  He really shows the reader that he knows and understands what he is actually talking about by using facts and numbers.  He uses this tool in this example where he describes why Riley should start over Jake Heaps “Which leads me to my idea. Do you remember what Texas did to BYU? The BYU defense was so effective against the starter, Garrett Gilbert (2/8 for 8 yards and two INTs), that Texas brought in their backup(s), who we had not planned for, and they were able to come back and win the game.”  In this example it is talking about Nelson completing 2 out of his 8 passes and his 2 interceptions (INTs).  This example describes how he uses his knowledge of football to really draw the reader in and establish some credibility to himself.  The more football facts he states the more the reader actually believes in what he is saying and the more it establishes authority for him and his blog.   Kidd also uses another example of his knowledge of football when he says “Heaps took over in that game, and was able to score on consecutive drives, and bring the Cougars within 3. In the second half, the Seminoles would up their tally of sacks to a total of 8. Heaps ended the game 15/31 for 114 yards and 1 TD.”  Using his knowledge he can persuade his audience to believe him through his use of football terms to make himself look reliable on what he is talking about.  He wants his audience to feel comforted by the numbers and facts he is actually using.  Personally, Kidd’s use of facts really impacted me.  I believed that because he included very specific facts it really made me interested in what he was saying.
In his blog post he uses his word choice to arise certain emotions in the reader.  One example of this is when Kidd says “ I think Heaps may have been better served with a redshirt season and a mission than jumping in as a freshman and getting married, but he is what he is now. I don’t think Heaps is a closer. I have not seen him fight back and rise up this year – though there were glimpses of it last year.”  In this specific example Kidd uses his words to bring about feelings of annoyance for how terrible Heaps has been playing.  He tries to persuade the audience, with his words, to have them agree that Heaps is not a closer and not a great quarterback.  Personally when I first read this I instantly felt a little angry that Heaps did not go on a mission.  I believe this is what Kidd wanted to express to his readers.  Another example that he uses is “So I propose this: start Heaps every game. Let him build his confidence. If he finds success, let him have it. But if drive after drive are stalling out, and it’s after halftime, with no sign of change – follow the Utah State model and bring in Riley Nelson. Think of him as a relief pitcher. He’s a game changer. He’s a game winner.”  This specific example is supposed to rally his audience and to make them feel like they need to agree with him that Nelson should start over Heaps.  He uses his words to make it look like Nelson is the only solution to BYU’s quarterback dilemma.

Kidd’s final rhetorical tool that he uses in his blog are metaphors.  In his blog he uses a metaphor when he talks about Heaps arm.  He says, “Each quarterback has plenty of upside, and plenty of down. Heaps has a rocket arm, but often uses it to overthrow his receivers.”  He uses this metaphor to really describe how Heaps has a very strong arm and how powerful he can throw the football.  This is a very useful tool because it plays to the audiences imagination and they instantly think of a “rocket arm” and they believe that Heaps has the strongest arm in college football.  Later in his blog he writes, “So the Cougars brought in Nelson. A different type of quarterback, to say the least. They were completely unprepared, and were on their heels until the game ended and they had lost.”  This is another example of a metaphor.  When Kidd says “on their heels until the game ended and they had lost” he really meant that Utah State had no idea how to compete with BYU.  Kidd’s use of metaphors really made his writing come alive.  He was able to portray very well about how Utah State was feeling rather than just writing a very simple sentence.  This imagery really helps his readers to better follow and understand his thinking about BYU football.

In conclusion, Jeremy Kidd uses very specific rhetorical tools to help him write an effective blog post.   He uses his knowledge of BYU football, his word choice to bring about emotions and he uses metaphors to paint pictures with words for his audience.  These tools matter to the audience because without them this blog post would be ineffective at convincing people to take the side of Kidd and having Nelson start over Heaps.

1 comment:

  1. All in All, Nelson just knows how to get the team excited and get things going. Nelson brought BYU football back into life!