If it's mid-July, it can only mean two things—the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is here, and so are the ESPYs, ESPN's annual sports awards show.
There were some truly magical performances and stories in the world of sports this year. Johnny Manziel won the college football season (and has been losing the offseason, but that's another story altogether). Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning came back from injuries in a big way, while Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III took the NFL by storm.
Miguel Cabrera hit for the Triple Crown. Mike Trout had arguably the greatest rookie season in MLB history. LeBron James did, once again, what LeBron James does. The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and started the season with an amazing points streak.
Andy Murray and Serena Williams stole the headlines in tennis, while last summer's Olympics provided plenty of heroes.
All of that to say, the ESPYs should be particularly intriguing this year. Let's break down the awards.
When: Wednesday, July 17, at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, Calif.
Host: Jon Hamm
Categories: For the full list of categories and nominees, check out ESPN MediaZone
Awards List (via ESPN MediaZone)
Best Male Athlete
Best Female Athlete
Best Championship Performance
Best Breakthrough Athlete
Best Record-Breaking Performance
Best International Athlete
Best NFL Player
Best MLB Player
Best NHL Player
Best NBA Player
Best WNBA Player
Best Male Golfer
Best Female Golfer
Best Male Tennis Player
Best Female Tennis Player
Best Male College Athlete
Best Female College Athlete
Best Male Action Sport Athlete
Best Female Action Sport Athlete
Best Male Athlete With a Disability
Best Female Athlete With a Disability
Best MLS Player
Best Male US Olympic Athlete
Best Female US Olympic Athlete
Best Play will be voted on bracket-style
Most Intriguing Categories
"Best Male Athlete" is stacked this year. James can make a strong argument after winning another MVP and leading the Miami Heat to a second consecutive NBA title. But can he top Cabrera, who became the first American League player to win the Triple Crown since 1967?
Or how about Peterson, who recovered from offseason surgery on a torn ACL to rush for 2,097 yards (second most in NFL history) and 13 touchdowns?
Let's not forget about Michael Phelps, either, who won four golds and two silvers at last summer's London Olympics.
My vote would go to Peterson—his recovery from a knee injury was astounding—but James seems the most likely to win the award.
The "Best Female Athlete" category is also stacked, but look for Olympic breakout star Missy Franklin to oust Gabby Douglas, Brittney Griner and Serena Williams.
Pablo Sandoval should win for "Best Championship Performance" (over James, Joe Flacco and Brad Keselowski), while Trout leads a stacked "Best Breakthrough Athlete" category (up against Manziel, Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Yasiel Puig).
If Jack Hoffman at the Nebraska spring game doesn't win "Best Moment," they should just get rid of the award. Meanwhile, "Best Team" may be the hardest to both pick and predict (Alabama football, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Blackhawks, Miami Heat, Oklahoma softball, San Francisco Giants and the U.S. women's gymnastics team are the nominees).
"Best Comeback" will be tricky as well, as Peterson, Manning, Buster Posey and Mariano Rivera have all offered amazing performances after injury.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are in the running for the "Funniest Sports Tweets" ESPY. Or is it corniest?