Sport’s biggest names got dressed up to acknowledge their accomplishments at the 10th annual ESPY Awards. It’s a night dedicated to the athletes.
Best Opening Montage: Get ready for a roller-coaster of emotions. From watching UFC fighters getting kicked in the face, snowboarders face planting and football players flipping into a touchdown to seeing a teary Peyton Manning say farewell to the Colts and remembering legendary sport coaches, the opening of this year’s ESPY Awards was very touching and entertaining. Kudos.
Worst Attempt at Getting Us Jealous: The L.A. Dodgers’ Matt Kemp walked out (looking ridiculously handsome) with two beautiful ladies on his side—Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere—to announce the winner of Best Female Athlete. Nice try, Kemp. We’re not bitter, not at all. But seriously, stop it.
Best Awkward Host: Sigh, Rob Riggle. The host attempted to deliver the sport-related jokes best he could, but it was just unfortunate. Between the awkward pauses and his trouble reading the teleprompter, it was hard not to feel kinda bad for the guy. But hey, it wasn’t all horrible and he still seemed to be having a great time, and that’s (kinda) all that counts.
Worst Not the Greatest Presenter: It’s already kinda random that Kenny Chesney was at the ESPYs, but we got over it. Then he got on stage to present an award and we couldn’t even see his face because of that huge cowboy hat, and he seemed so nervous the whole time, we got so distracted. What award was it again?
Best Awww Moment: We caught a glimpse of Lamar Odom and Bruce Jenner sitting next to each other in the crowd. A little in-law bonding time over sports, eh? That’s too adorable.
Worst “Quick” Acceptance Speech: When Drew Brees won for Best Record Breaking Performance, he promised a quick thank-you speech, but that clearly wasn’t the case. In fact, he had one of the longest speeches tonight. But we’re not mad. Brees’ speech was very heartfelt and sweet, so keep on talkin’, Drew!
Best Good Deed: When accepting the award for Best Game, a player from the 49ers saluted a boy named Jimmy who was also present onstage, and we learned he was a teenager battling cystic fibrosis. “As athletes, we work hard on the field and off the field, that’s what Jimmy’s doing.”
Worst Onstage Performance: Poor Joel McHale. The comedian was weaseled into doing some little secret handshake dance with Riggle when he came to present an award and it was, well, kinda sad. The jazz hands had no spirit, guys, but the air teeter-totter was kinda cool.
Best Story: Women’s basketball head coach for University of Tennessee Pat Summitt received the Arthur Ashe Award. And with that honor, the ESPYs shared with her story: She was young girl who grew up on a dairy farm and became passionate about what was then a man’s sport which ultimately led her to a life-long, successful career of coaching. We also found out that Summitt was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease last Spring, however her courageous personality led her to continue coaching. She led the Lady Vols to the 16th SEC Championship for the final time.
Worst Award: Who wants to win Biggest Upset? The title of the award is not the best, but the Los Angeles Kings seemed to appreciate it. Maybe they meant underdogs? Let’s try to figure out a better name for that one.
Here’s the complete list of winners for the 2012 ESPY Awards:
|Best Breakthrough Athlete: Jeremy Lin|
|Best Female Athlete: Brittney Griner|
|Best Record Breaking Performance: Drew Brees|
|Best Game: The 49ers vs. The Saints|
|Arthur Ashe Award: Pat Summitt|
|Best Comeback Athlete: Matthew Stafford|
|Best Upset: Los Angeles Kings|
|Best Play: Christian Watford|
|Best Moment: Tim Tebow|
|Best Male Athlete: LeBron James|
|Best Championship Performance: LeBron James|
|Best Coach/Manager: Tim Coughlin, New York Giants|
|Best International Athlete: Lionel Messi|
|Best NFL Player: Aaron Rogers|
|Best MLB Player: Josh Hamilton|
|Best NHL Player: Jonathan Quick|
|Best Driver: Tony Stewart|
|Best NBA Player: LeBron James|
|Best WNBA Player: Diana Taurasi|
|Best Fighter: Floyd Mayweather Jr.|
|Best Male Golfer: Bubba Watson|
|Best Female Golfer: Cristie Kerr|
|Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic|
|Best Female Tennis Player: Maria Sharapova|
|Best Male College Athlete: Robert Griffin III|
|Best Female College Athlete: Brittney Griner|
|Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Shaun White|
|Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Jamie Anderson|
|Best Jockey: Mario Gutierrez|
|Best Male Athlete With a Disability: Kyle Maynard|
|Best Female Athlete With a Disability: Jessica Long|
|Best Bowler: Sean Rash|
|Best MLS Player: David Beckham|
|Best Track & Field Athlete: Walter Dix|
|Best Team: Miami Heat|