ESPY Awards 2018: Date, Host, TV Schedule, Awards List and More

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2018

Retired race car driver Danica Patrick will host the ESPY Awards July 18.
Retired race car driver Danica Patrick will host the ESPY Awards July 18.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

There are certain pairings that go together in the sporting world.

For example, just a few days after the NCAA basketball title game is played in early April, the Masters tees off in Augusta, Georgia.

New Year's Day means a slate of college football bowl games and the NHL Winter Classic.

Another one of those pairings is approaching. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played in Washington D.C. July 17, and the 26th annual ESPY Awards will be handed out the following night.

July 18 offers a virtual clean slate because there are no MLB games, and the other major sports as well as college football and basketball are idle.

As a result, it's the perfect day to hand out the Oscars of the sporting world.

Retired race car driver Danica Patrick will host the event, which will be televised by ABC at 8 p.m. ET. She will be the first woman to host the awards show.

Two of the most glamorous prizes include the Best Male Athlete and Best Female Athlete.

NBA superstar James Harden is one of the candidates for the Best Male Athlete Award.
NBA superstar James Harden is one of the candidates for the Best Male Athlete Award.Chiang Ying-ying/Associated Press

Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots are up for best male athlete, while WNBA star Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx, skier Mikaela Shiffrin, snowboarder Chloe Kim and soccer star Julie Ertz will contest the best female athlete prize.

Altuve was the best player on the World Series champion Astros, Harden had a remarkably explosive season with the Rockets, Ovechkin overcame years of frustration in leading the Capitals to the Stanley Cup, and Brady cemented his status as the NFL's best quarterback.

George Springer of the Astros is competing with Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and Donte DiVincenzo of the Villanova Wildcats for the best championship performance award.

The Astros' victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series is up for the best game of the year, and it is in competition with Georgia's victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl and the U.S. women's hockey team's scintillating shootout victory over Canada in the gold-medal game of the Winter Olympics.

The Houston Astros, Philadelphia Eagles, USA women's ice hockey team, Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball team, the Villanova Wildcats men's basketball team, Golden State Warriors and Washington Capitals are all competing for the best team of the year.

Brady, Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams, Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Aaron Donald of the Rams are up for the best NFL player award, while Altuve, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals are up for the best Major League Baseball player award.

Here's a link to all the awards that will be presented at the ESPYs.