Wednesday, November 28, 2007

jimmy v speech

Launch Featuring Jim Valvano ESPYS Speech on Numerous ESPN Platforms, Men's and Women's Jimmy V Basketball Classics and Marathon Chat by's Bill Simmons
November 21, 2007 -- The inaugural Jimmy V Week -- a week-long initiative featuring special content across ESPN platforms and programs to drive awareness of and donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research -- will launch Wed., Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. ET with an introduction on numerous ESPN entities and conclude Tue., Dec. 4, with the Men's Jimmy V Basketball Classic doubleheader (at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on ESPN), a night after the Jimmy V Women's Basketball Classic on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.

As part of the initiative to drive donations for cancer research, Jimmy V Week content will be incorporated into studio programs and event telecasts, including SportsCenter, men's and women's college basketball, college football, NBA, PBA and more. The week will include content on,, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, special vignettes, and specific Jimmy V Week on-air graphics. Highlights include:

* Simultaneous launch featuring Jim Valvano's speech at the 1993 ESPYS across multiple entities;
* Marathon chat session by's Bill Simmons (Wednesday, Nov. 28 beginning at noon) and special section on;
* Special elements during game and studio programming across multiple ESPN entities;
* A telecast of the 2007 V Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2;
* Special guest interviews on ESPNEWS;
* A Jim Valvano-themed marathon on ESPN Classic;
* Jimmy V Week message on the BottomLine;
* Referees from the NFL, NBA and Jimmy V Women's Basketball Classic donating a portion of their one-day salary to the V Foundation's Blow the Whistle on Cancer Campaign.

Simultaneous Launch Across Multiple Entities

Jimmy V Week will launch across eight ESPN entities and the ABC SuperSign in Times Square Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. with a special introduction by Duke Coach and V Foundation board member Mike Krzyzewski, followed by a complete presentation of Jim Valvano's speech at the 1993 ESPYS. The approximate 13-minute long open will be seen simultaneously on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU,, Mobile ESPN and ESPN Deportes (subtitled in Spanish). The ABC SuperSign version will include English subtitles.

Special Content, Highlighted by Bill Simmons Marathon Chat will have special Jimmy V Week content highlighted by a marathon chat by Bill Simmons, an article by Dick Vitale, Jim Valvano's 1993 ESPYS speech, and links to a calendar of events and to for more information on The V Foundation and how to donate. Details include:

* The Sports Guy,'s Bill Simmons, will host a marathon chat session Wednesday, Nov. 28, beginning at noon (no set conclusion time).
* ESPN analyst and V Foundation board member, Dick Vitale, will write an article about the importance of The V Foundation and his memories of Jim Valvano.
* Jim Valvano's speech at the 1993 ESPYS will be available online.

Elements During Event and Studio Programming

Jimmy V Week elements will appear during studio and event programming across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNU and ABC, including 26 men's college basketball games, five women's college basketball contests, 12 college football matchups and two NBA telecasts. Content will also be aired during studio programming across ESPN entities, including a feature on Jim Valvano's legacy on every edition of SportsCenter on Wednesday, Nov. 28 (6 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.).

ESPN2 will also televise the 2007 V Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2:30 p.m. The one-hour program will feature highlights from two signature V Foundation events: The Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic (held at the Pinehurst Resort August 24-26) and The V Foundation Wine Celebration (from Napa Valley, Calif. August 3-4).

Jimmy V Week will conclude Tuesday, Dec. 4, with the Jimmy V Men's Basketball Classic doubleheader from Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. (Kansas State vs. Notre Dame) and 9 p.m. USC vs. Memphis), a night after the Jimmy V Women's Basketball Classic from Rutgers University at 7 p.m. (Maryland vs. Rutgers on ESPN2).


Throughout the week, ESPNEWS will have interviews with guests who have a connection to cancer, including N.C. State Women's Basketball Coach Kay Yow, Syracuse Men's Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim and Shonda Schilling, wife of Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt. Additional guests are to be determined.

ESPN Classic Jim Valvano-Themed Marathon

ESPN Classic will offer a Jim Valvano-themed marathon leading up to the Jimmy V Men's Basketball Classic December 4 beginning at 12:30 p.m. The schedule:

Time - Show

12:30 p.m. - Up Close Classics: Jim Valvano

1 p.m. - 1987 ACC Tournament - Championship (N.C. State defeats North Carolina)

3 p.m. - 1983 ACC Tournament - Championship (N.C. State defeats #2 Virginia)

5 p.m. - ESPN Classic Big Ticket: 1983 National Championship featuring N.C State vs. Houston (features the game plus interviews with former N.C. State guard Derek Whittenburg and Houston All-American Clyde Drexler)

Jimmy V Week Message on BottomLine

The following Jimmy V Week message will be included across each of the ESPN networks' BottomLines for live event programming: Jimmy V Week - Join ESPN and The V Foundation in the fight against cancer Call (800) 4-JIMMY-V or visit

Blow the Whistle on Cancer!

In coordination with Jimmy V Week, all NFL and NBA game officials are participating in The V Foundation's Blow the Whistle on Cancer Campaign by donating a portion of their salary from the week's games to The V Foundation. In honor of the officials' donations, both the NFL and NBA league offices will match the officials' personal donations. This will be the sixth year for the NFL to Blow the Whistle on Cancer and the NBA's third season � both leagues have had 100% participation from their officials every year of the campaign.

Officials from the Jimmy V Women's Basketball Classic will also participate in Blow the Whistle on Cancer and donate a portion of their salaries to The V Foundation.

The V Foundation

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has raised more than $70 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. The Foundation, which has received five consecutive top 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Review Committee. For more information on The V Foundation
has a sweet rhythm and resonance, lightness and familiarity � it's a word that women, even Oprah, find easy to use after Grey's Anatomy coined it on primetime television

Nov 01, 2007 04:30 AM
Stephanie Rosenbloom
The New York Times

This is the story of how a silly-sounding word reached the ear of a powerful TV producer and, in only seconds of air time, expanded the vocabularies � for better or worse � of legions of women.

It began on Feb. 12, 2006, when viewers of the ABC series Grey's Anatomy heard the character Miranda Bailey, a pregnant doctor who had gone into labour, admonish a male intern, "Stop looking at my vajayjay!''

The line sprang from an executive producer's need to mollify standards-and-practices executives who wanted the script to include fewer mentions of the word "vagina.''

The scene, however, had the unintended effect of catapulting "vajayjay" (also written "va-jay-jay'') into mainstream speech. Fans of Grey's Anatomy expressed their approval of the word on message boards and blogs.

The show's most noted fan, Oprah Winfrey, began using it on her show, effectively legitimizing it for some 46 million American viewers each week. "I think `vajayjay' is a nice word, don't you?'' she asked her audience.

"Vajayjay" found its way into electronic dictionaries, like Urban Dictionary, Word Spy and Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary. It was uttered on the television series 30 Rock. It was used on the website of The Tyra Banks Show. Jimmy Kimmel said it in a monologue. It has appeared in the Web publications Salon and the Huffington Post, and on the blog Wonkette.

The Soup, which highlights wacky television and celebrity moments on E! Entertainment Television, broadcast bits called "Oprah's Va-jay-jay." One featured a clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show at the Miraval resort in Tucson, Ariz., in which Winfrey, attached to a wire and wearing a harness around the lower half of her body, swings through the air and announces, "My vajayjay is paining me.'' A YouTube video set the clip to electronic music, with Winfrey as an unwitting MC.

The swift adoption of "vajayjay" is not simply about pop culture's ability to embrace new slang. Neologisms are always percolating. What this really demonstrates, say some linguists, is that there was a vacuum in popular discourse, a need for a word for female genitalia that is not clinical, crude, coy, misogynistic or descriptive of a vagina from a man's point of view.

"There was a need for a pet name," said Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, and the chairman of the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary, "a name that women can use in a familiar way among themselves.''

Acceptance of the word, however, also reignites an old argument, one most forcefully made by Eve Ensler in The Vagina Monologues.

Over a decade ago, Ensler wrote that "what we don't say becomes a secret, and secrets often create shame and fear and myths.''

"Vagina," her widely performed series of monologues declared, is too often an "invisible word," one "that stirs up anxiety, awkwardness, contempt and disgust.''

Dr. Carol A. Livoti, a New York obstetrician and gynecologist and an author of Vaginas: An Owner's Manual (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2004), said "vajayjay" � and other euphemisms and slang � offend her and can render women incapable of explaining their symptoms to health professionals. "I think it's terrible," Livoti said. "It's time to start calling anatomical organs by their anatomical name. We should be proud of our bodies.''

"It seems like a step backward," she added.

In a voicemail message left for a reporter, Gloria Steinem said she hopes the women using "vajayjay" are doing so because they think it is more descriptive than "vagina," not because they are squeamish.

Technically speaking, the vagina is the canal that leads from the uterus to the outside of the body, a fact that has led both Ensler and Steinem to write that "vagina" � while not a word that should be stigmatized � is inadequate because it is not inclusive enough. It does not, they have pointed out, include the labia and clitoris, the nerve-rich locus of a woman's sexual pleasure. "I'm hoping that the use of this new word is part of the objection to only saying `vagina,' since it doesn't include all of women's genitalia, for instance the clitoris, in the way that `vulva' does," Steinem said.

Another view was offered by John H. McWhorter, a linguist and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who pointed out that the women associated with introducing the word � Winfrey, the Miranda Bailey character on Grey's Anatomy � are middle-aged African-Americans.

"The reason that `vajayjay' has caught on, I think, is because there is a black � Southern especially � naming tradition, which is to have names like Ray Ray and Boo Boo and things like that,'' McWhorter said. "It sounds warm and familiar and it almost makes the vagina feel like a little cartoon character, with eyes, that walks around.''

Long before Grey's Anatomy set "vajayjay" on its course to being a T-shirt-worthy catchphrase, it was used by some circles of women on blogs and, briefly, in Regena Thomashauer's book about pleasure, Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts (Simon & Schuster, 2002).

Shonda Rhimes, the creator and executive producer of Grey's Anatomy, who brought the word into full public view, actually fought to use "vagina" in the script.

"I had written an episode during the second season of Grey's in which we used the word `vagina' a great many times (perhaps 11)," Rhimes wrote in an email message. "Now, we'd once used the word `penis' 17 times in a single episode and no one blinked. But with `vagina,' the good folks at broadcast standards and practices blinked over and over and over."

Rhimes' assistant, Blythe Robe, volunteered her own alias: "vajayjay.''

"Now, vajayjay's just a given for me," Rhimes said. "It's a word I use, a word my female friends use, a word I've heard women in the grocery store use. I don't even think about where it came from anymore. It doesn't belong to me or anyone at the show. It belongs to all women.''

David Fiske, an FCC spokesperson, said networks are not penalized for the number of times the words "vagina" and "penis" are spoken. But if the words are used in a graphic and explicit description of "sexual or excretory organs or activities," he said, it might contribute to a finding of indecency. "Context is a critical factor," he said.

K.P. Anderson and Edward Boyd, executive producers of The Soup, think Winfrey is well aware she is promoting the word, based on the sassy way she utters it and how she looks into the camera when doing so. (Winfrey declined to be interviewed for this article.)

"It's her `truthiness,'" Anderson said. "She'll get it in the dictionary if it kills us."


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