The 2014 ESPY Awards come at a perfect time.
Germany already won the World Cup, baseball is on hiatus for its All-Star Break and the nation's other most prominent sports are in the midst of their respective offseasons. This is certainly the slowest time of year for sports enthusiasts everywhere.
Luckily, ESPN has us covered with a star-studded cast of presenters, nominees and performers sure to make the event extremely memorable.
While we anxiously await Wednesday's showcase to come around, let's take a look the year's presenters and predict who will come away with one of these prestigious awards.
|Victor Cruz||New York Giants Wide Receiver|
|Kevin Durant||Oklahoma City Thunder Small Forward|
|Colin Kaepernick||San Francisco 49ers Quarterback|
|Dan Marino||NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback|
|Floyd Mayweather||Boxing Welterweight Champion|
|Danica Patrick||NASCAR Driver|
|Maria Sharapova||Tennis Player|
|Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks Quarterback|
|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|
Best Male Athlete
Each of the nominees for this category are extremely well-deserving.
Miguel Cabrera has been one of baseball's most dominant figures, Kevin Durant was the rightful winner of the NBA's MVP title, and Floyd Mayweather continued his improbable unbeaten streak to retain his title.
Although, it could be argued that none of those performances were quite as remarkable as what Peyton Manning accomplished with the Denver Broncos last season.
Manning's peers certainly agreed:
Manning set new NFL records for most passing touchdowns and yards in a single season while propelling the Broncos to a Super Bowl berth. His final stat line included completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions for a passer rating of 115.1.
That's just too tough to top.
Best Female Athlete
It's the same story for the women, as each nominee could rightfully come away with the award.
Maya Moore was instrumental in the Minnesota Lynx's championship season, Mikaela Shiffrin took the gold in the 2014 Olympics women's slalom, and Breanna Stewart dominated the paint for the NCAA champion Connecticut Huskies.
But despite those stellar performances, Ronda Rousey stands out above the rest.
The woman known as "Rowdy" has been dominating the ranks in the UFC with a career record of 10-0. That alone is impressive; however, the way she's been able to earn her victories is what makes her shine.
She's defended her title four times since the beginning of 2013, with two wins coming in the form of submission and two coming from first-round knockouts.
Here's a legitimate question regarding Rousey:
Most recently, she disposed of No. 1 contender Alexis Davis in just 16 seconds. That feat alone is enough to win the category and take home the award.
Best Championship Performance
This category is filled with winners.
Jimmie Johnson was easily the most impressive NASCAR driver last season, Kawhi Leonard had a breakout season, which led to an NBA Finals MVP with the San Antonio Spurs, and Shabazz Napier dominated the college ranks in the NCAA tournament.
However, World Series MVP David Ortiz appears to have the edge in this category.
His performance against the St. Louis Cardinals was nothing short of improbable. He put the Boston Red Sox on his back, batting .688 with a 1.948 OPS, two home runs and six RBI, to take home the title.
By comparison, the rest of the team hit .169 with a .484 OPS and two home runs.
Here's a look at his first award for that performance:
That's the definition of a remarkable championship performance.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!