Wednesday , Jul , 11 , 2012 Matt Formica

Why the ESPY’s are Awesome and Basketball will Dominate this Year

Why the ESPY’s are Awesome and Basketball will Dominate this Year

The ESPY Awards, which celebrate the greatest achievements of the year in sports, are set for tonight – live from the Nokia Center in Los Angeles.

Many people criticize the ESPY’s as being an unnecessary awards show, because usually, ESPY winners are athletes/teams that have already won the pinnacle event in their sport to begin with.  Bill Wolff, producer at ESPN, commented, “I have a fond feeling for ESPN.  But I find the ESPY Awards objectionable.  We already have awards.  The World Series is an award.  An MVP is an award.  We don’t need more awards.  They make up this crap so they can fill time with it – the worst.”

While I respect Mr. Wolff’s opinion, there are many people, myself included, who look at the ESPY’s as the best of the awards shows for the same reason the critics dismiss them.  Yes, the ESPY winners have already won the biggest events in their given sport.  I get that.  But doesn’t that make it fun?  There isn’t as much pressure as let’s say The Academy Awards where nominees are stone-faced and sweating, while they await the big announcements that come from an arbitrary and somewhat unknown, voting method.  ESPY winners, conversely, could care less if they win.  They’ve already won.  The award is just a bonus and now it’s time to party.

It’s true.  The ESPY Awards is just a big party.  But to me, it’s worth celebrating. 

Whether you’re a fan or not, sport is an enormous part of our culture.  The passion that is evoked through and by sports alone, is frankly, incredible. 

Every single one of us has a friend who we can’t talk to when their team loses.  We all know someone who’s named a pet after their favorite athlete or team.  I can tell you first hand that my mother was such a huge Red Sox fan, that when the Red Sox lost, our house just wasn’t as pleasant of a place to be.  My father, who grew up a Yankees fan, without hesitation would root for the Red Sox.  He was simply rooting for peace.  Sports will do that.  It is the amazing part about them. 

Not to mention, it’s relatable.  While sometimes I wish I could, I cannot relate to Leonardo DiCaprio at the Oscars.  I’ve never been in anything close to that position.  But even though I’m not a professional athlete or anything close, I’ve played in big games before.  I have missed, and made, big shots (well, they were at that moment in time); so I’m able to put myself in Lebron James’ shoes much easier than I can Dicaprio’s.

So for me, the ESPY’s not only celebrates Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY), but it also celebrates all of us who love watching, playing, and working in sports.  All of us who have lived and died with our teams.  It is, to some degree, a celebration for the sports lover, not just the athlete.  And the fact of the matter is, there are millions of people around the world who love sports; who buy tickets and apparel and memorabilia to keep the business of sport alive.  And many who work tirelessly to make this part of our culture, and many other cultures, live on.  There are very few industries that unite as many people from as many distinct backgrounds as the sports industry.

And I see nothing wrong with celebrating that.

Moreover, the ESPY’s play a charitable role.  Every year, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales goes to the V Foundation, a charity established by the late Jim Valvano, to promote cancer research.  The V Foundation has raised over $120 million to date.

Additionally, the ESPY’s always feature the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.  I can tell you first hand that as a sports lover, seeing an Arthur Ashe Award for Courage presented live is special.

So who will win an ESPY this year???

Hoopsvibe’s Quick Call:  We are going to see a lot of basketball players at the winner’s podium.

It’s a given.  Athletes in the sport of basketball dominated this year.  Lebron James will win this year’s Best Male Athlete and he should win Best Championship Performance.  No need to elaborate on why.  We were all witnesses.

Britney Griner will win Best Female Athlete and Best College Female Athlete.  Abby Wambach touched hearts for USA but there wasn’t any female athlete in the country this year as dominant in her sport as the 6 foot 8 inch Griner was for Baylor.

Anthony Davis will be the Best Male College Athlete at this year’s ESPY’s.  Yes, he’s going against Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III who are both phenomenal athletes and I wouldn’t be surprised if either of them won.  Having said that, the 6’11” freshman (who was drafter by New Orleans #1 overall) did it all for Kentucky this year – including something the other nominees didn’t; he led his team to a national title.

But who cares who wins?  Again, as human beings who love sports, we’ve all already won.

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the party.

Questions or comments?? Get at us hoopsvibers!!

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Image source:  AP Images.