The 2014 ESPY Awards have come and gone, and with the showcase's final results comes plenty of debate.
Surely, every award winner was well deserving—they wouldn't have been nominated otherwise—although we can't help but look back and give an after-the-fact opinion on what transpired Wednesday night.
There were 33 awards handed out to various athletes during ESPN's event. Let's take a look at the winners from every category and overview the ESPYs' biggest snubs.
2014 ESPY Winners
|Best Team||Seattle Seahawks|
|Best Female Athlete||Ronda Rousey|
|Best Male Athlete||Kevin Durant|
|Best Play||Chris Davis' FG Return|
|Best Driver||Ryan Hunter-Reay|
|Best NFL Player||Peyton Manning|
|Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete||Jamie Anderson|
|Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete||Sage Kostenburg|
|Best Game||Alabama vs. Auburn, Iron Bowl|
|Best Female Action Sports Athlete||Jamie Anderson|
|Best Male Action Sports Athlete||Nyjah Huston|
|Best Moment||USA defeats Ghana in World Cup|
|Best Comeback Athlete||Russell Westbrook|
|Best Upset||Mercer over Duke, NCAA tournament|
|Best Breakthrough Athlete||Richard Sherman|
|Best Championship Performance||Kawhi Leonard|
|Best Male College Athlete||Doug McDermott|
|Best Female College Athlete||Breanna Stewart|
|Best NBA Player||Kevin Durant|
|Best WNBA Player||Maya Moore|
|Best Coach/Manager||Geno Auriemma|
|Best MLB Player||Miguel Cabrera|
|Best NHL Player||Sidney Crosby|
|Best Male Athlete with a Disability||Declan Farmer|
|Best Female Athlete with a Disability||Jamie Whitmore|
|Best Jockey||Victor Espinoza|
|Best Fighter||Floyd Mayweather|
|Best Male Golfer||Bubba Watson|
|Best Female Golfer||Michelle Wie|
|Best Male Tennis Player||Rafael Nadal|
|Best Female Tennis Player||Maria Sharapova|
|Best Bowler||Pete Weber|
|Best MLS Player||Tim Cahill|
Best Male Athlete: Peyton Manning
Let's kick things off by noting that Kevin Durant was simply impressive last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was certainly deserving of the Best NBA Player award due to wining the league MVP after averaging 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
Although, as impressive as those numbers are, they paled in comparison to what Peyton Manning accomplished with the Denver Broncos.
While Durant led the Association in scoring, Manning not only led all quarterbacks in yards and touchdowns, but he set single-season records in both categories. Those records led to him winning another award, via ESPN Stats & Info:
Peyton Manning won #ESPY for Best Record-Breaking Performance. He set NFL single-season records for passing TDs (55) and yards (5,477).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 17, 2014
His end-of-season stat line included a 68.3 completion percentage, 5,477 yards, 55 touchdowns, just 10 interceptions and a passer rating of 115.1.
Accomplishing this at the age of 37 should have only solidified Manning with this award.
Best Moment: Chris Davis' FG Return in Iron Bowl
Yes, the U.S. men's national soccer team defeating its nemesis Ghana in the World Cup was a great moment of national pride for every American watching. However, was it really the best overall sports moment?
Let's put it into perspective. The United States' win was a great sight, but it was the team's only victory in the World Cup and it came against a winless Ghana team.
On the other hand, we have Chris Davis' 100-plus yard field-goal return for Auburn's game-winning touchdown against a highly talented Alabama team in the Iron Bowl. That kind of conclusion to a game has never happened in the collegiate ranks.
As you'd believe, several members of the media took to Twitter to convey their displeasure with the outcome.
Jordan Brenner of ESPN The Magazine and Doug Gottlieb of CBS were two such people who stood out:
U.S. Soccer won ONE game at the World Cup. Repeating: ONE. Can we stop pretending they put forth some sort of heroic performance? #usmnt— Jordan Brenner (@JordanBrenner) July 17, 2014
. @GottliebShow Wait, you mean the lone win in a 1-2-1 tournament showing isn't historic?— Jordan Brenner (@JordanBrenner) July 17, 2014
Let's not take a great win away from the United States men's national team, but as far as an incredible sports moment goes, the conclusion of the Iron Bowl easily takes the cake.
Best Team: San Antonio Spurs
This was a bit of a tough category, as each nominated team showed a great deal of dominance leading up to the awards ceremony. However, voters got it wrong when they selected the Seattle Seahawks as the winners.
Yes, the Seahawks were incredible during the Super Bowl. They defeated Manning's Broncos by an incredible 35-point margin, which puts them among the best performers in the game's history, according to ESPN Stats & Info:
Although, while that performance was very impressive, the team wasn't nearly as dominant leading up to the big game.
Both of Seattle's games leading up to the Super Bowl ended in one-score margins.
Seattle's defense allowed Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints to get back in the game, giving up 15 points in the fourth quarter while allowing the quarterback to pass for over 300 yards. One game later, the Seahawks needed to mount a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
It was a different story for the Spurs leading up to the NBA Finals.
After being forced to a Game 7 in Round 1 by a good Dallas Mavericks team, San Antonio went on a tear, dropping just four games the remainder of the way to claim the title.
Kevin Pelton of ESPN tweeted the incredible point differential the Spurs accumulated throughout the playoffs:
So, the same team with the highest ever point differential in the NBA playoffs went on to defeat LeBron James and Co. four games to one in the Finals?
It sure seems that kind of performance would amount to an award here.