2012 ESPY Awards Winners: Results, Recap and Top Moments

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2012 ESPY Awards Winners: Results, Recap and Top Moments
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The 2012 ESPYS were a great mix of humor, fashion and sentimentality. It made the biggest sports award show a smashing success and an entertaining event. 

Veteran comedian Rob Riggle took the stage of Los Angeles' Nokia Theater as the host for the night, and he got off to an ominous start as he verbally stumbled early in his opening monologue. But he quickly fell into his rhythm. Riggle's zany humor was edgy but not mean-spirited enough to turn anyone off. 

The ESPYS also kept it rocking from award to award by having the MC skills of Nas on hand. In the end, this show isn't about the host or the MC, though—it's about the athletes.

Here are some of the highlights and winners from the 2012 ESPYS. 

 

Top Moments

Reaching the Summitt

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The 2012 ESPYS took a touching turn when they honored former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt. 

Summitt was diagnosed with dementia last summer, yet she still coached this season. She has since retired, and she did so as the winningest coach in the history of college basketball.  

ESPN's Cindy Brunson captured the touching moment with this tweet:

 

The Brosquatch

In a completely different style of awesome, Giants closer Brian Wilson got the awards show off to an entertaining start by showing up on the red carpet with his date, Brosquatch. 

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

It is always a safe bet that Wilson will do something noteworthy when in the public spotlight. 

 

Honoring an Inspiration 

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

We pretty much all know of Eric LeGrand's paralyzing tragedy on the football field with Rutgers in 2010. He is currently unable to walk, but he is working hard to regain that mobility.

Through it all, he has been a shining inspiration to countless people and was recognized as such with the Jimmy V Courage award.

LeGrand was on hand to accept the honor and delivered a very moving speech.

 

Winners

Breakthrough Athlete of the Year: Jeremy Lin

Record-Breaking Performance of the Year: Drew Brees, for breaking Dan Marino's NFL regular-season passing yards record

Biggest Upset: L.A. Kings

Game of the Year: NFC divisional playoff—San Francisco 49ers 36, New Orleans Saints 32 

Best Moment: Tim Tebow's 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas to beat the Steelers in the NFL playoffs

Best Coach/Manager of the Year: Tom Coughlin

Best International Athlete: Lionel Messi

Best Comeback: Matthew Stafford

Arthur Ashe Courage Award: Pat Summitt

Jimmy V Perseverance Award: Eric LeGrand

Best Team: Miami Heat

Best Male Athlete of the Year: LeBron James

Best Female Athlete of the Year: Brittney Griner 

Best Female College Athlete: Brittney Griner

Best Female Tennis Player: Maria Sharapova

Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic

Best MLB Player: Josh Hamilton

Best NHL Player: Jonathan Quick 

Best Male College Athlete: Robert Griffin III

Best NBA Player: LeBron James

Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers

Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Shaun White

Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Jamie Anderson

Best Play: Christian Watford

Best Fighter: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 

Best Championship Player: LeBron James

Best Jockey: Mario Gutierrez.

Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Kyle Maynard

Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Jessica Long

Best Bowler: Sean Rash

Best MLS Player: David Beckham

Best Track and Field Athlete: Walter Dix

Best WNBA Player of the Year: Diana Taurasi 

Best Male Golfer: Bubba Watson

Best Driver: Tony Stewart

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