From the Dan Kelly School of Public Speaking…



One reason for the decrease in my ventures to ESPN’s website is the ubiquitous video on the right side of the screen. I do not need to hear a talking head tell me what stupid clip is coming up next. Fantasy Focus, Mike and Mike, and Roger Cossack bring me one step closer to suicide, which my therapist tells me is detrimental to my health. However, the user does have the option of stopping the video.

The same cannot be said for the Chicago Blackhawks website. Despite pasting a giant ad in the middle of the homepage containing the phone number and starting season ticket prices, the advertising crew feels that it is necessary for one of three previous first round draft picks to tell you the viewer how to acquire tickets. Plus, the user cannot shut off the video; one must either navigate to a different page or turn down the volume until the hockey player mercifully stops talking. Making visitors want to Van Gogh their ears does not increase traffic on a site.

That said, I have watched each video multiple times, and have ranked the players in their rhetoric:

1. Jack Skille, what are K-Fans? Those who enjoy seeing God? People with an attachment to a dead NASCAR driver who appeared on Country Time Lemonade Labels? A group of Boolean algebra nerds? However, you look directly at the camera and speak with enthusiasm and poise. You remembered your public speaking skills from Madison.

2. Patrick Kane, you ape the graphic behind you while neither sporting hockey hair nor nursing an injured penis. Don’t rush your delivery. More vocal inflection would be nice, but at least you face the viewer.

3. Johnny T., I hope there is an inverse relationship between your promo and your play on the ice. If you’re going to shill for $ $ Bill, would you please look straight at the camera instead of slightly to your left? You’re excited about playing for the Hawks this year, but your intonation resembles a heartbeat monitor attached to Sergei Samsonov. Great season ticket locations are available, like St. Patrick’s Cemetery, where I buried my last four Hawks seasons in hopes that they would rise from the grave and join Pully in the realm of the living dead.

Finally, who designed those jackets, MLB?


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