ESPY 2013 Winners: Athletes Who Were Snubbed by the Fans
Fan voting awards the most popular candidates instead of the most deserving.
We've seen time and time again that when fans vote for all-star games and Pro Bowls, the right choice isn't always made, and with more than 30 ESPYs handed out on Wednesday night, it was bound to happen again.
To be fair, the fans got most of the categories right.
LeBron James had a truly remarkable year, and when someone wins NBA MVP, finals MVP and Olympic gold in the span of 12 months, I'm pretty sure denying him "best male athlete" is against the law.
And who could ever deny that Jack Hoffman's tear-inducing touchdown run was easily the best moment? The devil, maybe?
Nevertheless, the fans still missed a few. Let's take a look at all the night's winners and then some of the most shocking snubs.
Complete List of Winners:
|Best Male Athlete||LeBron James|
|Best Female Athlete||Serena Williams|
|Best Championship Performance||LeBron James|
|Best Breakthrough Athlete||Colin Kaepernick|
|Best Record-Breaking Performance||Michael Phelps|
|Best Upset||Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown|
|Best Game||Heat vs. Spurs Game 6|
|Best Moment||Jack Hoffman|
|Best Play||Jadeveon Clowney's big hit|
|Best Team||Miami Heat|
|Best Coach/Manager||Rick Pitino|
|Best Comeback||Adrian Peterson|
|Best International Athlete||Usain Bolt|
|Best NFL Player||Adrian Peterson|
|Best MLB Player||Miguel Cabrera|
|Best NHL Player||Sidney Crosby|
|Best Driver||Ryan Hunter-Reay|
|Best NBA Player||LeBron James|
|Best WNBA Player||Candace Parker|
|Best Fighter||Floyd Mayweather Jr.|
|Best Male Golfer||Tiger Woods|
|Best Female Golfer||Stacy Lewis|
|Best Male Tennis Player||Novak Djokovic|
|Best Female Tennis Player||Serena Williams|
|Best Male College Athlete||Johnny Manziel|
|Best Female College Athlete||Brittney Griner|
|Best Male Action Sport Athlete||Nyjah Huston|
|Best Female Action Sport Athlete||Stephanie Gilmore|
|Best Jockey||Joel Rosario|
|Best Male Athlete With A Disability||Jeremy Campbell|
|Best Female Athlete With A Disability||Jessica Long|
|Best Bowler||Pete Weber|
|Best MLS Player||Thierry Henry|
|Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete||Michael Phelps|
|Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete||Missy Franklin|
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Mike Trout
It could very easily be argued that Mike Trout's least notable accomplishment was American League Rookie of the Year.
As a mere 20-year-old, Trout finished second in AL MVP voting, and it wasn't one of those years where he just benefited from a lack of viable candidates—he lost to Miguel Cabrera, who hit for the Triple Crown.
Usually, when someone hits a milestone that hasn't been accomplished in 45 years, as the Detroit Tigers slugger did, it's going to make him the obvious choice for MVP. The mere fact that Trout was even in the conversation for the prestigious award should tell you how unbelievable his season was.
But the fact he earned 281 of the votes (to Cabrera's 362)? That should tell you that what he did was pretty much out of this world.
Who deserved to win "Best Breakthrough Athlete"?
In 139 games, Trout hit .326/.399/.564 with 30 home runs and 83 RBI while supplying spectacular defense in left and center field. He led the league in runs scored (129), stolen bases (49) and OPS+ (168).
Oh, and he became the first player ever (you know, in a game that has been played for, like, a billion years) with 30 homers, 45 steals and 125 runs in a single season. It was easily one of the best individual seasons in all of sports this year, let alone from a breakthrough athlete.
Colin Kaepernick, who won the award, was a vital part in the San Francisco 49ers making it to the Super Bowl. He deserves credit, but Trout, who did things that only seemed possible in video games, was on another level.
Best Female Golfer: Inbee Park
Since last year's ESPYs, there have been four women's major golf tournaments.
Inbee Park has won three of them.
After finishing second to Jiyai Shin at the Women's British Open in 2012 (slacker), Park has won every major in 2013.
At the Kraft Nabisco Championship, she shot 15-under and won by four strokes. Stacy Lewis, the winner of the ESPY, finished 32nd. At the LPGA Championship, Park shot five-under and won in a playoff. Lewis finished 28th. At the Women's U.S. Open, Park shot eight-under and won by four strokes. Lewis finished 42nd.
Lewis had a spectacular 2012, winning the LPGA Player of the Year. But Park, who actually led the LPGA in money earning in 2012, is having a storybook 2013 and is currently ranked No. 1 in the world by a large margin.
She's playing like early-2000s Tiger Woods right now, and there's no one close to touching her.
Best Fighter: Jon Jones
Is Floyd Mayweather the best pound-for-pound boxer of his generation? Absolutely.
But did he have the best last year? Not really even close.
Not only did he win just one fight against a pretty overmatched Robert Guerrero, but as a matter of principle, I don't think an ESPY should be given to someone who spent part of the year in jail.
Besides, if you're literally looking for the best "fighter," this award absolutely has to go to an MMA fighter, and with Anderson Silva losing earlier this month, Jon "Bones" Jones feels like the clear deserved winner.
When you think of a fighter, do you think of someone who just continually delivers punches, or someone who can deliver punches (Jones knocked out Chael Sonnen on elbows and punches) and do this?:
This isn't a slight to Saul Alvarez or Danny Garcia or any boxer, but more a plea to separate this category into two: "best boxer" and "best fighter."
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