Ah, the ESPYS, that award ceremony in the middle of the slowest sports month on the calender, July, where ESPN rolls out the red carpet to dole out awards to the biggest stars in sports.
This year, sports fan and actor/comedian Rob Riggle will host the spectacle, a perfect choice, in my opinion. We'll probably see less jokes about and more awards for LeBron James, and I'd expect the Miami Heat to dominate the awards show in general.
There will be Bounty Gate, Unibrow and Linsanity jokes, soccer will be completely ignored and we'll get to see athletes walk on the red carpet before the event.
God bless America.
Date: July 11th, 2012
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, California
Host: Rob Riggle
Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Seth Meyers are slated to make appearances, which should be interesting for Armstrong given the latest doping allegations from the USADA. More presenters should be announced in the coming days.
Most Intriguing Categories
Best Male Athlete: Novak Djokovic, LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Verlander
Best Female Athlete: Brittney Griner, Maria Sharapova, Lindsey Vonn, Abby Wambach
Best Team: Alabama (college football), Baylor (women's basketball), Kentucky (men's basketball), Los Angeles Kings, Miami Heat, New York Giants, St. Louis Cardinals
Best Championship Performance: David Freese, LeBron James, Eli Manning, Tony Stewart
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Anthony Davis, Robert Griffin III, Rob Gronkowski, Jeremy Lin, Alex Morgan
Best Moment: Derek Jeter's 3000th hit, Tebow to Thomas sudden death playoff touchdown, Bubba Watson winning Masters, Final night of the 2011 MLB season
Best Male Athlete: Lionel Messi should be the winner, but he wasn't even nominated. Given the players available, my vote would go to Justin Verlander, who pulled off the rare feat of winning a Cy Young and MVP award in the same season. But we all know LeBron James will take home the hardware.
Best Female Athlete: Tough one to call, though I think Brittney Griner is the most deserving of the candidates and will win. She may yet become the Wilt Chamberlain of women's basketball.
Best Team: It should be Baylor, who didn't lose a game en route to a national championship. It can't get better than 40-0 and a championship. But it will be the Heat, because the ESPYS, at its core, is a popularity contest.
Best Championship Performance: It should and will be LeBron James. He was unstoppable in the Finals and throughout the playoffs. Any arguments against him being the best basketball player on the planet ended this postseason.
Who would you vote for as best breakthrough athlete?
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Toughest one to call of the bunch. Not a single weak candidate here. I would lean toward Gronkowski, who had the best season for a tight end in NFL history, or Morgan, who is averaging a goal a game on the international stage this year. But my gut is telling me it will go to RGIII or Lin. Since Linsanity gripped a nation this year, I think he gets the nod.
Best Moment: If we were allowed write-in votes, I would give it to Manchester City's two goals in stoppage time to win the EPL title. But given the nominees, this should absolutely go to the final night of the 2011 MLB season, which was one of the most epic, unpredictable and amazing days for a sport I've ever seen. Something tells me Jeter will take the award, however.
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