Back in January, basketball legend Michael Jordan gave a eulogy for other basketball legend Kobe Bryant after Kobe died tragically in a plane crash with his daughter Gianna. Commentators praised the speech because it was “tearful,” “moving,” and “heartfelt.”
I agree that Jordan’s speech is AN example of a eulogy. But I disagree that it is a model for ALL eulogies. It praises Kobe for a bunch of different attributes, all of those attributes are probably what anyone would select if asked to give a eulogy for Kobe Bryant, all of those attributes are positive, and they get thrown in with a few insider anecdotes (we know all about anecdotes from episode 14), and, of course, a few jokes.
But a eulogy can and should be SO much more than that. Jordan’s central values for Kobe are passion and competition but there’s another value I want to pull out: being a pain-in-the-ass, a nag, someone so focused on the details that they don’t let up. And that’s what I want for Jordan’s eulogy; if he wants us to be more like Kobe, then I want that to mean being more of a pain in the ass.
Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/i-come-to-eulogize-kobe-not-to-praise-him/
Episode 15 of RhetoricLee Speaking is part of The Big Rhetorical Podcast Carnival 2020: The Digital Future of Rhetoric and Composition. Be sure to check out the other podcasts participating in the carnival this week:
- Global Rhetorics Podcast at https://globalrhetorics.com @GlobalRhet
- Kairoticast @kairoticast
- Re:verb Cast www.reverbcast.com @reverb_cast
- Rhetorically Yours https://www.rhetoricallyyours.com @rhet_yours
- Rhetoricity rhetoricity.libsyn.com @Rhetcast
- The Big Rhetorical Podcast https://thebigrhetoricalpodcast.weebly.com @thebigrhet
- Writing Remix Podcast https://writingremixpodcast.com @WritingRemixPod
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