ESPY Awards 2013 Winners: Biggest Hits and Misses from Fan Voting

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17:  NBA player LeBron James accepts award for Best Male Athlete onstage at The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for ESPY)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The 2013 ESPY awards put the responsibility of acknowledging the best athletes, teams and accomplishments of the last year in the world of sports in the hands of the fans. 

As we know from the various leagues that allow fans to choose All-Star teams, that method always produces mixed results. 

The fans nailed some picks, clearly choosing the right winners in some categories. However, some picks were, well, questionable. 

It's hard to get to frustrated with fan voting. After all, this is a show that really is for the fans. But you can't help but wonder what the fans were thinking sometimes. 

Here's a look at the biggest hits and misses from the awards show. 


Adrian Peterson Wins Best Comeback Athlete

Everyone loves a comeback, and the fans got it right by loving Adrian Peterson's comeback the most. 

The Vikings running back's 2012 season bordered on the miraculous as he compiled a jaw-dropping 2,097 rushing yards just eight months after tearing his ACL and MCL. Considering the NFL is supposedly a "passing league," that's an incredible feat.

Mariano Rivera, Buster Posey and Peyton Manning all deserve credit for what they were able to accomplish, but Peterson came back from a devastating injury to join just six other running backs as 2,000-yard rushers. 

His ability to regain his explosiveness and power is a testament to his work ethic and resiliency. 

You may now insert your Derrick Rose joke here. 

Best Game Goes to Heat vs. Spurs Game 6

This award should go to the game that was the most dramatic and meant the most. No game fit that criteria more than Game 6 of the Heat-Spurs NBA Finals matchup. 

The game featured a 13-point Spurs lead, 10 lead changes and a whirlwind final minute that embodied everything a great finish to a classic basketball game should be.

The Spurs led by five with 28 seconds remaining. That's usually game over in basketball. But not in this one. The Heat stuck with it and forced Game 7 thanks to a dramatic three-point shot by Ray Allen that forced overtime—a play that was nominated for play of the year. 

An argument could be made that the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs Game 7 actually decided the series, but Heat vs. Spurs dramatically shifted the narrative behind the careers of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. 


LeBron James Wins Best Male Athlete over Miguel Cabrera

Alright, we get it. LeBron James is at the top of his sport right now. That's not likely to change anytime soon, and what he's done has been impressive. 

But handing him the award for Best Male Athlete is a bit of stretch when you consider what Miguel Cabrera has done in the past year. 

It's important to remember that this is an individual award, and no one had a better individual season in any sport than Cabrera. His Triple Crown season in 2012 was a feat that hadn't been accomplished since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. 

James was on the more successful team, but that shouldn't mean he gets the nod over a player with a more impressive individual season. 

Floyd Mayweather Named Best Fighter

It's easy to see why Mayweather won this award. He's the pay-per-view champion and thus has a huge following. 

The problem is he didn't do nearly enough to win the award. He defended his belt just once since winning the award in 2012, and it was a decision victory over Robert Guerrero. 

One defense against Guerrero is arguably the least impressive track record of any of the candidates, including Danny Garciawho beat Amir Khan, Erik Morales and Zab Judah in the same time spanand Jon Joneswho defended his UFC light heavyweight title twice with finishes of Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. 

Mayweather is undoubtedly the most well-known fighter among fans, but he was by no means the most impressive in the last year. 


    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

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    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report