To be honest....I don't watch the ESPY Awards. I just found out it was on July 17...my wedding anniversary....and really don't intend to watch it [though I am sure it will be crammed down my throat later in the night]. When I see an athlete dressed up...there better be a judge in front of him!!
It isn't that I am against award shows.....I do watch several of them....but some of these categories are quite redundant. Do I really care who ESPN dubs the "Best MLB Player"?? I just look at the MVP balloting and make my pick. And when they do actually differ from the leagues awards then it just looks like a bunch of snobby know-it-alls thumbing their noses at their choices [Nash or Shaq??]
However, it is the awards that span the sporting world that get the debating going. Who's the best team?? Red Sox? USC? North Carolina? Patriots? Spurs? All can make a claim....but who does get it? It is fun to relive the best games....best plays...and best moments of the past year. There are also awards for best athlete with a disability and such. Nice touching reminders of what sport can truly mean.
So, I went to the ESPY website and made my own picks for some awards:
BEST TEAM: Yeah, I will feed into the Greatest Thing That Has Ever Happened On Earth myopia by anointing the Boston Red Sox as the top team. I mean, they only became the first non-NHL team to come back from an 0-3 hole in the playoffs. Then blitzed the Yankees and Cardinals to capture their first title in 86 years.
BEST MALE ATHLETE: Michael Phelps. Dude only won 6 swimminggold medals [8 total] in last year’s Olympic Games....even though those games now seem like they took place 10 years ago. Lance Armstrong has won this award two years running and could make it a third.
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: I have to go with Annika Sorenstam by a smidge over Natalie Coughlin. Sorenstam has just been so dominant in the LPGA this year. Coughlin did win 5 medals in the Athens Olympics.
BEST COACH: Tough category [Roy Williams, Pete Carroll, Greg Popovich, Terry Francona are finalists] but Bill Belicheck gets the nod. They set the all time consecutive wins record, smacked up Peyton Manning’s white hot Colts team...then went into Pittsburgh and blew out the Steelers. To top it off...back-to-back Super Bowl wins!
BEST GAME: I’ll take the Michigan State-Kentucky game in the NCAAtournament. Michigan State was sort of a cinderella story just to get this far. A few overtimes and Patrick Sparks’ shot just has to put it over the top.
BEST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PERFORMANCE: Really tough category. There is the bloody sock of Curt Schilling. There is Matt Leinart lighting up the Miami sky. Deion Branch caught 11 passes in the Super Bowl. But Sean May had a great title game...and a great tournament. No one was as dominant as May was over the last month of the season.
BEST MOMENT: Reggie Miller’s farewell. I do think that Afleet Alex’s Preakness win was quite stunning....but Miller’s final game did bring a lump to my throat.
BEST PLAY: Blake Hoffarber. Who? He’s a high school kid that hit a game tying shot from the seat of his pants. Down by three....he fell down...got the ball behind the line...and threw it in.
BIGGEST UPSET: Puerto Rico over United States. Sure, Team USA went on to lose a few more games...but this is Puerto Rico. A team that scrubs were smacking around over the past few years.
BEST SPORTS MOVIE: I’m sure Cinderella Man or Million Dollar Baby are better movies...but I loved Coach Carter. Yeah...it is simple and formulaic, I just enjoyed myself. And isn’t that what movies are designed to do?