ESPY Awards 2018: Nominees, Presenters, Host, Predictions and More

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

Danica Patrick is slated to become the first woman to host the ESPYs.
Danica Patrick is slated to become the first woman to host the ESPYs.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The ESPY Awards bring the top stars in the sporting world together to honor their eye-opening achievements.

In its early years, the event seemed to pale in comparison to major awards shows like the Oscars, Emmys and Tony Awards.

However, as the ESPYs have grown and matured, the event has become a major production that has developed its own signature and panache. This year's edition will be held Wednesday night in Los Angeles and it will be televised by ABC at 8 p.m. ET. 

Danica Patrick, who recently retired from motor racing, will host the event. She is the first woman to serve in that role for the ESPYs.

The ESPYs will present major awards such as the best male and female athletes, the best sporting event of the year, best team, best upset and the breakthrough athlete.

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

In addition to Patrick's hosting of the event, a slew of celebrities and athletes will be presenting this year's honors. The presenters include Kate Beckinsale (The Widow), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Alison Brie (Glow), NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, G-Eazy (rapper), Jim Gaffigan (Noble Ape), Jennifer Garner (Peppermint), Olivia Holt (Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger), Trevor Jackson (Grown-Ish), Allison Janney (I, Tonya), NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, Olympians Adam Rippon and Mikaela Shiffrin, Jon Stewart (TV host and comedian), Jessica Szohr (The Orville) and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Jose Altuve is a contender for the Best Male Athlete Award.
Jose Altuve is a contender for the Best Male Athlete Award.David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Best Male Athlete category includes 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. 

The Best Female Athlete nominees are WNBA star Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx, skier Miakaela Shifrin, soccer standout Julie Ertz and snowboard phenom Chloe Kim. 

Look for Altuve to win the best male athlete and Fowles to take home the best female athlete honor.

The high drama of sports is captured in the "Best Moment" award that will be presented.

The nominees in that category include the Minnesota Vikings' victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC divisional playoff game, Notre Dame's women defeating Mississippi State in the NCAA basketball tournament title game, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights defeating the Winnipeg Jets and advancing to the Stanley Cup Final and 16th-seeded Maryland-Baltimore County upsetting top-seeded Virginia in the NCAA tournament.

Minnesota's last-second victory was a shocking, take-your-breath-away moment, and that game should win the award.

The Best Championship Performance Award is highly anticipated, and this year's nominees include George Springer of the Astros, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and Donte DiVincenzo of the Villanova Wildcats. 

While Springer was superb in the World Series and DiVincenzo made huge plays in Villanova's NCAA title game victory, Durant deserves the honor for his performance in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Best Game of the Year nominees include Georgia's victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, the Astros' triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series and the U.S women defeating Canada in the epic gold-medal hockey game in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Georgia's win in the high-scoring Rose Bowl was as entertaining as any college football game of the year, while the Astros' Game 5 win will go down in baseball history as one of the most dramatic postseason games of all time. However, the vote here goes to Team USA's shootout win over its arch-rivals that brought victory and relief to the American women who had been frustrated by their Canadian rivals so often in the past.