With the World Cup over and the MLB in its All-Star break, it's a pretty slow time in sports. Thankfully, the ESPY Awards—ESPN's annual award show—is here to fill the void.
Below, you can find all the information you need to prep for the show, including the host, presenters, awards and nominees. Enjoy the show!
When: Wednesday, July 16 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, California
Presenters: According to Jay Jay Nesheim of ESPN MediaZone, scheduled presenters include Jessica Alba, Jeff Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Victor Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Taye Diggs, Kevin Durant, Colin Kaepernick, Dan Marino, Floyd Mayweather, Jim Parsons, Danica Patrick, Jason Segel, Maria Sharapova, Kiefer Sutherland and Russell Wilson.
|Noteworthy ESPN Awards and Nominees|
|Best Male Athlete||Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos; Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder; Floyd Mayweather, Boxer|
|Best Female Athlete||Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx; Ronda Rousey, UFC; Mikaela Shiffrin, Olympic Skiing; Breanna Stewart, Connecticut Women’s Basketball|
|Best Championship Performance||Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion; Kawhi Leonard, NBA Finals MVP; Shabazz Napier, Men’s NCAA Tournament MOP; David Ortiz, World Series MVP|
|Best Breakthrough Athlete||Nick Foles; Damian Lillard; Richard Sherman; Masahiro Tanaka|
|Best Upset||Connecticut wins National Championship, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament; Mercer over Duke, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament; Chris Weidman over Anderson Silva, UFC 162|
|Best Game||Alabama vs. Auburn, Iron Bowl; Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts, AFC Wild Card Playoff; New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings, Stanley Cup Finals Game 5|
|Best Team||Boston Red Sox, MLB; Connecticut Women’s Basketball; Florida State Football; Los Angeles Kings, NHL; San Antonio Spurs, NBA; Seattle Seahawks, NFL|
|Best Coach / Manager||Geno Auriemma, Connecticut Women’s Basketball; Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks; John Farrell, Boston Red Sox; Kevin Ollie, Connecticut Men’s Basketball; Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs|
|Best Comeback Athlete||Josh Beckett, LA Dodgers; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Dominic Moore, NY Rangers, Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder|
For the full list of awards and to vote on every category, check out ESPN.com.
The first prediction is that Drake should be a solid host. Well, at least if he takes the advice of last year's host, Rob Riggle, as passed along by Luis Gomez of the Chicago Tribune:
(Drake's) going to kill it. He doesn’t need any advice. But I would say ‘Enjoy it because you get so busy.’ ... I would say ‘If you get a chance to take pictures with people backstage, don’t pass it up.’ I passed it up like, ‘Oh , I’ll come back and get that. I’ve got to do this.’ No, 'Just go over and get the picture' because there were so many people I’m a fan of.
I got too busy and I was worried about the show and I just didn’t take time to really breathe and soak it in. The Nokia—when it’s packed like that—is 7,500 people. 'Take a minute on stage to just look around and realize the moment.' I would just say 'Enjoy it.'
Okay, now to the actual predictions.
When it comes to "Best Male Athlete," Peyton Manning should and probably will win the award going away. Peyton Manning didn't just set the record for most touchdown passes (55) in NFL history, he also set the record for most passing yards (5,477) in a season, too.
Accomplishing one of those awards in a year is monumental. But both? Simply unheard of.
Ronda Rousey is one bad lady, so she'll probably take home the award for "Best Female Athlete." David Ortiz's performance against the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series (.668 BA, .760 OBP, two home runs, six RBI) was immense, so he'll likely take him "Best Championship Performance."
Choosing the best team will be tough, but the swag-infused Seattle Seahawks seem likely to win the award. And they're deserving, too, when you consider the following from Andrew Davis of ESPN Stats & Info:
The Seattle Seahawks defense ranked first in points per game allowed, receiving yards allowed and total yards allowed. In the Super Bowl, the Seahawks shut the Broncos high-scoring offense down, winning by 35 points which was the third-largest win in Super Bowl history. Russell Wilson threw 26 touchdowns in the regular season and in the Super Bowl put up a Total QBR of 88.1. Richard Sherman led the NFL with eight interceptions and caused the interception that sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
Hard to argue with that.
Speaking of Sherman, he'll probably win for "Best Breakthrough Athlete," though he was good before last year. Dominant pitcher Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees seems a bit more deserving, but Sherman will probably earn the reward.
The "Best Game" award is almost too close to call. The Indianapolis Colts comeback in the Wild Card Round against the Kansas City Chiefs was amazing, but Auburn beating Alabama after returning a field-goal attempt for a touchdown was one of the moments of the year. The Iron Bowl will get the honor.
There are some fantastic contestants in every award, and no matter who wins will be deserving. It should be fun.