After a year of epic events taking place, the entire world of sports will come together for one night during the 2014 ESPY Awards. Between the World Cup, Winter Olympics and all of the major sports in the United States, there have been countless sports triumphs since last summer.
Athletes such as Peyton Manning, Miguel Cabrera, Kevin Durant and Ronda Rousey are all nominated for awards, along with several others hoping to bring home plenty of hardware. Then there are teams like the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Seahawks with a chance to win the best team.
Before the awards get underway on Wednesday night, here's a look at all the information for the 2014 ESPY Awards.
2014 ESPY Awards Information
When: Wednesday, July 16 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, California
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|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|
* The full list of awards and voting can be found on ESPN.com.
Predictions for ESPYs
Never seeing Drake host before, it's hard to say exactly how well the rapper will do on Wednesday.
But with his rise in the rap game and the undeniable confidence he brings, fans can expect great things. One person that offered his take on the Canadian was last year's host Rob Riggle, per 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.
If there's one thing we've learned, it's that Drake knows who's on top of the sports world.
When it comes to actual predictions, the Best Male Athlete Award seems like an obvious one. While Durant, Cabrera and Floyd Mayweather were at the top of their game, every athlete looked up to Manning this year.
The Denver Broncos quarterback set records for both touchdowns (55) and passing yards (5,477) in a season. He also ran away with the NFL MVP Award, taking 49 of 50 votes, with rival Tom Brady getting the lone other vote.
For Best Female Athlete, the running is slightly closer. But fresh off of a dominant performance in UFC 175, Ronda Rousey might just have the upper hand on the rest of the competition.
Best Championship Performance is a bit of a tossup, but will go to David Ortiz following the ridiculous numbers he put up in the World Series. As for Breakthough Athlete, none other than Richard Sherman will get another chance at a memorable speech.
Sherman might also be able to join the Seattle Seahawks if his team wins the Best Team award. Russell Wilson has been campaigning for both throughout the offseason on Twitter:
Apparently Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com also believes the Seahawks were one of the best teams:
Let’s stop saying the Seahawks were “31st in passing” last year. Only the Eagles had a higher YPA.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) July 14, 2014
Several other awards are listed as "notable" for Wednesday's showcase, but one that I hold dear to my heart is the Best Driver award. After seeing Jimmie Johnson cruise to his sixth Sprint Cup championship, JJ is certainly deserving of the award.
But with a huge fan base and the blistering season that he's put together thus far, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will take the award. How great of a season has it been for the Hendrick Motorsports driver? He was disappointed this past weekend with a top-10 finish, via Jay Pennell of Fox Sports:
That was frustrating. That was the hardest I've ever worked for a 10th-place finish. But we have been off all weekend. ... The guys worked real hard. Steve (Letarte, crew chief) and the engineers did their best to try to get the car more competitive. Just to be lacking that much speed against a lot of those guys. I had to drive so perfect every lap.
On a night where all of the stars will be out, it's difficult to pick every winner at the ESPYs. Regardless of who takes home the hardware, expect and eventful and inspiring night during the ESPN showcase.
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