ESPY 2013 Winners: Grading the Fans' Choices for Major Awards

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17:  (L-R) NBA players LeBron James, coach Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Sean 'Diddy' Combs and assistant coach David Fizdale pose backstage at The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for ESPY)
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The 2013 ESPYs saw plenty of the world's top athletes named as winners at the annual awards show. 

With a variety of athletes from all over the world competing for the same awards, the results are always interesting. It also leaves some room for debate. 

After all, there's no empirical way to measure whether or not Miami Heat star LeBron James' past year has been any better than the one Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has had. It's really just a matter of the fans' opinion. 

In that spirit, let's hand out some grades for the top honors that the fans doled out on Wednesday. 


Best Team: Miami Heat

Grade: B

It's not as though the Miami Heat were an outrageous pick, it's just not a slam dunk. 

The Heat won 66 games and captured the NBA title. It's difficult to have a better season than that. However, the Alabama Crimson Tide were the epitome of dominance. 

Nick Saban's squad went 13-1 and captured the National Championship in the most dominant way possible—routing previously undefeated Notre Dame 42-14 in the National Championship. 

Even in the team's only loss it took a nearly flawless performance from a Heisman-winning quarterback and three turnovers for them to be defeated by a narrow margin. When you consider that 11 of their 13 wins were by at least 19 points, they were definitely worthy of the award. 


Best Female Athlete: Serena Williams

Grade: A

Simply put, no other woman shows the dominance that Serena does in her sport. 

In the last year she's won three Slams including the 2012 Wimbledon, the 2012 U.S. Open and the 2013 French Open—a slam she hasn't won since 2002. Perhaps even more telling is that she dropped just one set in Roland Garros and beat Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4. 

When one of the fellow top three players in your sport can't come close to beating you, that's worthy of an award.

Brittney Griner, Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin were all strong in their respective sports, but the fans definitely got this one right. 


Best Male Athlete: LeBron James

Grade: B

We get it. The fans love LeBron James and the Heat. 

Coming right off of his second Finals victory means that his dominance was fresh in the voters' minds which probably helped him dominate the awards show with five honors if you include the ones his Miami Heat won. 

While he had a strong case for Best Male Athlete, Miguel Cabrera was at least equally deserving. After all, the last time a player won the Triple Crown was 1967, an accomplishment that the slugger achieved in the 2012 season. 

He's on pace to challenge for the honor again this year. He leads the American League in average and RBI, trailing Chris Davis by seven home runs to have the lead in all categories again at the All-Star break. 

Perhaps if he wins it again the fans will sit up and take notice.