Emotional Night for 2017 Espy Awards

This year ESPN celebrates 25 years of the Espy Awards where the sports and entertainment world come together honouring the best in sports.

Broncos host Military Day

Hosting the 25th annual Espy Awards from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles is Super Bowl champion and MVP quarterback Peyton Manning. In his opening monologue, Manning picked on a number of his fellow athletes, but did not leave himself out of the mix when he said that Serena Williams winning the Australian Open was more impressive than the Denver Broncos defensive carrying him when they won the Super Bowl. He also noted that his only competition these days are the insurance companies. Manning said that hosting the Espys was a dream come true.

The first award of the night was for Best Breakthrough Athlete and went to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman presented the award for Best Record Breaking Performance to Olympic Gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps for extending his own record breaking medals total.

John Stewart presents the Pat Tillman Award to Master Sergeant Israel Del Toro Jr– a parachutist for the United States Air Force whose humvee was hit by an IED. With third degree burs on 80 percent of his body, he was not expected to live; but not only survived but began to compete in sports and to re=enlist in the Air Force where he is an instructor. And he made parachute jump number 131 this past February!

The award for the high school Gatorade Player of the Year went to MacKenzie Gore and Sydney McLaughlin.

The Coach of the Year Award went to Jersey City high school basketball coach Bob Hurley. In his acceptance speech Hurley said, “this award is nice for me but I accept it on behalf of all those coaches (high school and junior college coaches) as well.”

The award for Best Moment in Sports went to the 2016 Chicago Cubs for winning the 2016 World Series after 108 years of not winning the World Series.

Snoop Dogg presented the award for Best Game to Super Bowl LI where the New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons for their fifth Super Bowl win.

John Cena presented the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance to 15 year old Jarius Robinson who has had two liver transplants. JJ said that earning the Jimmy V Award was amazing. JJ also thanked his family for all that they have done.

The award for Best Championship Performance went to NBA player Kevin Durant.

The Capital One Cup went to the women of Stanford University Cardinals and the men of Ohio State University Buckeyes.

Retired ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman spoke on John Saunders who died earlier this year as he introduced the In Memorium segment of the show and a performance by Gallant who performed “A Song for You”.

Mark Giordano was presented with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.

Six time award winning actor Brian Cranston presented the Icon Award went to Vincent Edward “Vin” Scully. Scully retired last year after 67 years of broadcasting. Scully opened his acceptance speech with a phrase he has uttered millions of times, “hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you.” He noted that an eight year old boy fell in love with baseball on October 2, 1936 and broadcast his final game on October 2, 2016 – 80 years later. Scully concluded his speech with, “I am humbled, I am honoured, and I know another thing my work was never ever a burden. I consider it always a blessing.”

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The award for Best Play went to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for his pass to Jared Cook in the NFL Divisional playoff game. Rodgers noted that it took a lot of people to put on a play like that.

Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage to creator of the Special Olympics Eunice Kennedy Shriver. What began as Camp Shriver in her own home in 1962 turned into a global phenomenon known as the Special Olympics. Shriver died in 2009; accepting the award in her honour was her son Tim Shriver. He called Obama, “still a great first lady;” adding that his mother would have loved Michelle Obama. He called his mother and Arthur Ashe heroes. Time said that his mother knew one thing, that the athletes of Special Olympics deserve the same glory as any other athlete in the world. He added that she is in the hearts and minds of anyone who believes in inclusion. He noted that they still have a lot of work to do for equality for people with disabilities. “When in doubt, choose to include,” he said.

The award for Best Female Athlete went to Olympic Gold medal gymnast Simone Biles.

Olympic gold medal skier Lindey Vonn and Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson presented the award for Best Male Athlete to NBA player Russell Westbrook. While other athletes were attired in suits, Westbrook accepted his stage in sweat pants and shirt.

Samuel L. Jackson presented the award for Best Team to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Awards not presented during the live television broadcast:
Best Upset: The Women’s NCAA Basketball Final Four when the Mississippi State women defeated the Connecticut women for their first loss in years.
Best Comeback Player: NFL player Jordy Nelson
Best International Athlete: Olympic medal winning track and field athlete Usain Bolt
Best NFL Player: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Best MLB Player: Los Angeles Angel Mike Trout
Best NHL Player: Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney Crosby
Best Driver: Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton
Best NBA Player: Cleveland Caviliers LeBron James
Best WNBA Player: Los Angeles Sparks Candace Parker
Best Fighter: MMA fighter Demetrious Johnson
Best Male Golfer: Sergio Garcia
Best Female Golfer: Ariya Jutanugarn
Best Male Tennis Player: Roger Federer
Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Best Male College Athlete: Clemson football player DeShaun Watson
Best Female College Athlete: Florida softball player Kelly Barnhill
Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Snowboarder Mark McMorris
Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Snowboarder Anna Gasser
Best Jockey: John Velasquez
Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Wheelchair Basketball player Steve Sergio
Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Swimmer Becca Meyers
Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte
Best MLS Player: New York City FC David Villa
Best Male US Olympic Athlete: Swimmer Michael Phelps
Best Female US Olympic Athlete: Gymnast Simone Biles

 

photos by:

By original: Capt. Darin Overstreet of the U.S. Air Colorado National Guardderivative: Diddykong1130 – 1501112-Z-UA373-019, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46456046

By original: Capt. Darin Overstreet of the U.S. Air Colorado National Guardderivative: Diddykong1130 – 1501112-Z-UA373-019, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46456046


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