22 years ago Jimmy Valvano took the stage at the first inaugural ESPY Awards. He commemorated individuals and teams on their accomplishments during sports in the past year, Delivering an unforgettable, inspirational speech that marked a life changing moment in the history of sports. Jimmy was honored by receiving the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award for demonstrating his success and generosity he brought to the world of sports. In June of 1992 Jimmy was diagnosed with bone cancer giving him one year to live. According to Cancer. org
“Most of the time when someone with cancer is told they have cancer in the bones, the doctor is talking about a cancer that has spread to the bones from somewhere else. This is called metastatic cancer”. On March 3rd, 1993 Jimmy opened his heart to everyone from a narrative perspective. He delivered a motivating and inspirational speech exemplifying his life as a coach and sports broadcaster. Jimmy’s ten minute speech full of compassion, emotion, and a bit of humor opened the minds of his audience creating a lifelong message of hope.
Through techniques such as pathos, humor, and utilizing poignant tone; Jimmy is able to deliver an uplifting speech, epitomizing his strong presence he has dedicated to the history of sports. Witnessing Jimmy Valvano’s speech characterizes the achievements he has accomplished in his seemingly short but overwhelmingly masterful life. In his speech he elegantly flows through his speech, incorporating complex, effective words that capture the audience’s attention. He ultimately captures their attention when he says, “Time is very precious to me… I don’t know how much time I have left and I have some things I would like to say” (Jim Valvano Quotes).
He foreshadows his utilization of pathos by exemplifying himself not as a basketball coach but as, an emotional and passionate man. This sentence exacerbates the fact that Jimmy was a kind hearted man who was not only looking to win the game or be the star of the broadcast but to change the lives of his players and the fans. Jimmy continues his expenditure of pathos when he exclaims, “We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.
” (Jim Valvano Quotes). Incorporating this powerful theme Jimmy was able to set the tone for the rest of his speech. Living by those three actions every day Jimmy has become one of the most inspirational and motivating characters of all time. Jimmy combines his emotional side with his humorous side to develop a connection with the audience that for the moment makes them feel that Jimmy is healthy. He illustrates this technique when he conveys a story when he first became a basketball coach. He was the age of 21 when he began coaching the Rutgers men’s basketball team.
Jimmy Valvano coached for 18 years starting his career of officially at Bucknell University with his overall record as 33-42. He then coached at Iona University with a 95-46 record. Valvano last coaching job was at North Carolina State his record was 209-112. Valvano was a conference champion 2 times in the regular season and 2 times tournament, went to the NCAA tournament 9 Years (15-8) recorded, 1 final four appearance, 1 Championship in 1983 according (sports-reference. com). With Jimmy adding humor during his speech, he tells us that he wanted to inspire his
team and become a motivational coach. He sought to employ the techniques of the great Vince Lombardi and his quote, “Gentlemen, we can be successful this year if you can focus on three things, and three things only: Your family, your religion, and the Green Bay Packers. ” (Jim Valvano Quotes). He thought that all he had to do was replace Green Bay Packers with Rutgers and he would be all set. In attempt to repeat Lombardi Valvano stated, “I go to knock the doors open just like Lombardi. Boom!
They don’t open. I almost broke my arm Now I was down, the players were looking let’s go,” I said. “Gentlemen, we’ll be successful this year if you can focus on three things, and three things only. Your family, your religion and the Green Bay Packers” (Jim Valvano Quotes). Although only a few audience members laughed the story still provided the audience with information of instances that shaped him to be who he is today. Humor became an important aspect in his speech as it kept the audience engaged and wanting to hear the next statement he had to say.
Capturing the ultimate attention of his engaged audience Jimmy alters his tone from humorous to an emotional, and expressive tone. Jimmy relates back to his original theme of his goals and where he intends to take his disease. Jimmy reveals unsettling information of how the insufficient cancer research funding is an issue along with the increase in cancer diagnosis. He then provokes, “It may not save my life. It may not save my children’s lives. It may save someone you love”( Jim Valvano Quotes). This Rhetorical argument defines how hope can become a powerful medicine in saving one’s life. Jimmy’s true unselfishness is proven with those three sentences.
It takes true dedication to realize that even though he is dying he desires to save the lives of others. In those moments Jimmy unveils his partnership with ESPN in funding the Jimmy V foundation. He demands the audience to transform the future into healthy state and perhaps cure the world of cancer. The effectiveness of his speech is captured today because the Jimmy V Foundation has raised $115 million dollars towards cancer research corresponding to (JimmyV. org). These astonishing numbers relate directly to his powerful speech he successfully presented that night.
With exceptional organization and intriguing dedication Jimmy was able to deliver a speech that installed hope into the hearts of audiences everywhere. Valvano immediately captured the audience’s attention when he employs pathos, perceiving himself as an emotional passionate man. His credibility is enhanced through his immense emphasis on his life stories that authorized him to be the inspirational man he is today. His utilization of humor descends upon his audiences developing a relationship that displays his true purpose of cancer research but overlaps that with themes of dedication, perseverance, and hope.
With the audience fully intrigued Jimmy alternates his humorous tone into a poignant tone, expanding his compelling message into a universal theme of hope. He concludes his speech with, “I’m going to fight my brains out to be back here again next year for the Arthur Ashe recipient. I want to give it next year. ” Sadly the sports world was shaken when Jimmy Valvano passed away just eight weeks after that memorable night at the ESPY’s.
He poured his heart out into that speech, in hopes of inspiring everyone to remember that hope and perseverance can make an enormous difference in this world. Jimmy Valvano’s message dominates the world today with his inspiring words, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up” (Jim Valvano Quotes). Cite “10 Reasons Why Jimmy V’s ESPY’s Speech Is the Best Ever. ”
A Long Way to Boston. N. p. , 28 Nov. 2012. Web. 01 Feb. 2015. “About Us. ” The V Foundation for Cancer Research. N. p. , n. d. Web. 05 Feb. 2015. Basketball at Sports-
N. p. , n. d. Web. 05 Feb. 2015. “Bone Cancer. ” Bone Cancer. N. p. , n. d. Web. 05 Feb. 2015. “Jim Valvano Quotes. ” BrainyQuote. Xplore, n. d. Web. 03 Feb. 2015.