ESPY Awards 2017: Funniest Highlights and Bizarre Results from Wednesday's Show

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2017

Host Peyton Manning appears on stage at the conclusion of the ESPYS at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

As always, the ESPY Awards this year were a showcase of the sporting world's best—complemented by a full dose of hilarious and bizarre.

Viewers shouldn't have expected anything different with NFL legend Peyton Manning running the show as host. His performing prowess earned from an appearance on Saturday Night Live and in national commercials shone through as he put most of sport's biggest names over a spit for a roast while moving the event along throughout the evening.

Manning didn't take long to go viral thanks to a joke spitting fire at Kevin Durant before asking Russell Westbrook if he'd like to get in on the action, via Sports Illustrated:

Durant himself presumably reacted to the worldwide burn on Twitter:

Manning dissing Durant wasn't the only notable funny moment, though. He had plenty of fire for teams, former hosts of the show and beyond, even throwing down an SNL-inspired skit for good measure.

In his opening monologue, Manning even took shots at the Atlanta Falcons for their not-so-clutch ways in this year's Super Bowl, per ESPN:

Former ESPYs host and WWE superstar John Cena got caught in the crossfire as well when Manning brought him up alongside Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, who had the bizarre incident in Rio a year ago.

"John Cena is an athlete, the same way Ryan Lochte is a reliable witness," Manning said, according to Michael Rothman of ABC News.

As for the skit, as one can probably imagine, it centered on football as Manning decided to host a Super Bowl party.

ESPN offered a video of the hilarity: 

To their credit, some of those involved didn't sit around and take the jabs.

Some, such as New England Patriots wideout Julian Edelman, clapped right back at Manning while giving a post-award speech. 

Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star captured the gist of what he had to say:

The funny blends with the borderline bizarre in all the above, though the bizarre often had a way of shining through on its own.

For instance, the Chicago Cubs predictably reeled in the "Best Moment" award for winning the World Series and ending a 108-year drought.

A still-celebrating Bill Murray then took the stage in an...interesting hat, chronicled by ESPN:

The bizarre wasn't limited to during the broadcast itself, though, not with the red carpet offering plenty of oddities beforehand.

Said strange moments included a fidget spinner, Mike Conley with an odd-looking suit and—obviously—a cat in a stroller:

The show wound up a success thanks to a melting pot of all the above orchestrated by Manning. It's safe to say those in charge might ask him back for an encore in the near future.

Here's a look at the winners from the 2017 ESPY Awards:

Best Male Athlete: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Best Female Athlete: Simone Biles, Gymnastics

Best Team: Golden State Warriors

Best Play: Aaron Rodgers' Pass to Jared Cook vs. Dallas Cowboys

Best Championship Performance: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Michael Phelps, 28 Career Olympic Medals

Best Upset: Mississippi State def. Connecticut, Women's College Basketball

Best Game: New England Patriots def. Atlanta Falcons, Super Bowl LI

Best Moment: Chicago Cubs win 2016 World Series

Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete: Simone Biles, Gymnastics

Best Coach: Bob Hurley Sr., St. Anthony High School

Best WNBA Player: Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

Best Male College Athlete: Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Best Female College Athlete: Kelly Barnhill, Florida

Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Mark McMorris, Snowboarding

Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Anna Gasser, Snowboarding

Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete: Michael Phelps, Swimming

Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Steve Serio, Wheelchair Basketball

Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Becca Meyers, Paralympic Swimming

Best Comeback Athlete: Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

Best International Athlete: Usain Bolt, Runner

Best NBA Player: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Best MLB Player: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Best Driver: Lewis Hamilton, Formula One

Best Fighter: Demetrious Johnson, UFC

Best Male Golfer: Sergio Garcia

Best Female Golfer: Ariya Jutanugarn

Best Male Tennis Player: Roger Federer

Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams

Best MLS Player: David Villa, New York City FC

Best Jockey: John Velazquez

Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte 


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    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

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    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report