The 2013 ESPY awards produced some of the most memorable moments of the year. From heartwarming speeches to moments of comedy that we won't soon forget, we had it all at this year's annual sports award show.
The question is, which of the award winners most deserved their respective awards?
There are few who didn't deserve the awards they received, as the voters were generally on point with their selections and general evaluation. With that being said, certain individuals ran away with their receiving specific awards.
Here are the true champions of this year in sports.
Jack Hoffman, Best Moment
If you haven't yet seen it, the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football team gave Jack Hoffman a moment he'll never forget. Correction: Jack Hoffman gave the Huskers and the entire world a lasting image of perseverance and pure bliss.
For that reason, there truly was no viable competition in this category.
For those unfamiliar, Hoffman is a seven-year-old boy who has been bravely battling brain cancer since 2011. At Nebraska's spring games, Hoffman hit the field in a full uniform, donning the No. 22 as he set up in the backfield behind Taylor Martinez.
What ensued was why we love sports.
Martinez handed it off to Hoffman, who cut left, went back right and found his way into the open field. With blockers in front of him, Hoffman ended up in front of the entire Nebraska team, sprinting across the goal line and crossing into the end zone.
The entire Cornhuskers team celebrated, lifting him onto their shoulders and garnering a standing ovation from the fans in attendance.
This is not to downplay any of the candidates in this category, but what we saw with Hoffman was breathtaking—so much so that it would have been criminal for this influential figure to have missed out on this award that fails to reward just how brave this young man is.
For everything that Hoffman has done in his fight with brain cancer, we can only hope that this award showed him how much he means to the sports community.
Robin Roberts, Arthur Ashe Award for Courage
Every year, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage is handed out to an individual who displays the character and perseverance to overcome the odds and influence the world in a positive manner. This year, the award was given to Robin Roberts.
There's no question at all that she deserved it.
Roberts currently hosts Good Morning America on ABC, thus becoming one of the most recognizable faces in the world. Prior to her time with the show, however, Roberts spent 15 years with ESPN, becoming a mainstay on SportsCenter and an immensely popular voice while calling games.
Roberts won three Emmy Awards during her time with ESPN.
Tragically, Roberts has battled both breast cancer and MDS over the past several years. Even still, her spirits have stayed high, and she has re-joined Good Morning America, infecting the world with her uplifting smile and unbreakable will.
Truth be told, that description only scratches the surface of what Roberts means to the sports world, and no award could ever repay her. Roberts is what an icon truly is, folks.
Team Hoyt, Jimmy V Perseverance Award
Team Hoyt isn't a squad that the average sports fan knows or recognizes. In fact, there are more than a handful of diehard fans that were unaware of their presence before the ESPY Awards.
It's about time we learned.
Dick and Rick Hoyt won the Jimmy V Perseverance award, which immediately tells you how important this duo is. Once you look further into who they are, you'll understand that they're more than just award winner.
Team Hoyt are as influential as any sports figures in the world.
Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son marathon and triathlon team. Rick, the son, has cerebral palsy, but that hasn't stopped the two from running in over 200 triathlons and 70 marathons.
According to TeamHoyt.com, they completed their 1000th race in 2009.
As if the ESPY awards failed to provide enough uplifting moments, this is the type of story that lingers. These two athletes have overcome obstacles that many write off as insurmountable, emerging as dedicated and accomplished racers.
Few, if any, deserved an award as much as Team Hoyt.
Florida Gulf Coast, Best Upset
To list a purely sports-related award after the three we've just discussed feels wrong and misplaced. While Florida Gulf Coast's upset of the Georgetown Hoyas and subsequent run to the Sweet Sixteen may not have the emotional impact of the other events, it has another effect.
It reminded us that, when it comes to sports, anything can happen.
Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed in NCAA history to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. With a cast of no-name collegiate athletes and a head coach with a compelling, but previously untold story, they became America's sweethearts.
At the ESPY awards, they were honored as such.
The NCAA Tournament is always unpredictable, but when a team like Florida Gulf Coast makes it so far, it reminds us of why we love sports. Players that may never see a minute in the NBA became legends because their will to succeed was too powerful to be denied.
As those in all walks of life were honored tonight, the Eagles were honored as they should be—a team that will forever live on in sports history.
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