What is the Shock Value?

Something that is big in sports media is the shock value. The shock value is saying something that makes the audience freak out or react in a certain way. Many times, the shock value is used to build your audience by making more people check you out to see what you will say next.

The best example of this that I see all the time is by a Pittsburgh sports radio host named Mark Madden. Mark labels himself as the “super genius” and is known for his rude, loud mouth behavior. He has the personality that whatever he says is right and that everyone who doesn’t agree with him is wrong. He also says whatever he wants about sports. He bashes Pittsburgh based sports teams, usually resulting in the fans freaking out about how could he say all this. But what if this is all a plan of his?

Now I do think this is his personality, but maybe he’s using it to his advantage.

The hardest thing about using the shock value is the reaction. Many people are afraid to use the shock value due to the fear of how people are going to react. I won’t lie, it is pretty nerve racking when you use the shock value for the first time.

When I used it for the first time, I remember it was the day after the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0 in game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs opening round. Me, being a big Philadelphia fan was upset with how I saw the team play. I went on the radio and said “what I saw last night was pathetic.   I am ashamed to be a Philadelphia fan. They don’t even deserve to be in the playoffs after that”. To a Pittsburgh fan it could be nothing.  To a Philadelphia fan, it would make them upset and question how could I say that. If I was on a Philadelphia based sports radio show and said that, I probably would have more listeners the next day. Mostly people wanting to hear what crazy things I would say next.

If you want to use the shock value to your advantage, you must use caution with it. It could also take audience away from you if you say anything offensive. Don’t confuse rudeness with shock value. You might think that it will give you more followers, but all it really does is make you look like a jerk. People will lose respect for you. If that happens, no one will really care what you have to say about sports.

Question time! Do you recall a time when you used the shock value when talking sports? What did you say? Please comment below. Please keep all responses PG!

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