Senseless in Los Angeles

Jul 13, 2012 by


July 11, 2012 marked the dullest day on the sports calendar.  Major League baseball was silent, NFL exhibition games were still a month away, the Olympic torch was still in transit to London, and no one cares for the Tour De France even if Lance Armstrong was amped up on HGH not even taking breaths as he rolled past opponents climbing the steep peaks of Mount whatever.  Maybe there was a WNBA game or MLS game played but then again those leagues portray the truest definition of dull.  All of which makes for a perfect night for ESPN to broadcast their annual sports award show the ESPYS.

Juwan Howard and Mike Miller graced the podium at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles to accept an ESPY on behalf of their team, the Miami Heat.  They took home the award for winning the category of best team.  Best team?

Last I checked the best basketball team was determined a few weeks back when the Miami Heat was victorious over the Oklahoma City Thunder, capturing the franchises 2nd NBA championship.  Logically, this makes the Heat the best team in the NBA.  The crazy twist of all this is that the Heat was nominated in a category with teams from different sports.  Does this make the Heat the best basketball team on the planet, a better assembly of men playing basketball than say the New York Giants, Los Angeles Kings, or St. Louis Cardinals?  (Some of their competition in this category) Does this particular ESPY award make the least bit of sense to anyone?  It’s lost on me, feel free to comment and explain, but I’m pretty sure I still won’t get it.

My question remains the same each and every year.  What does winning an ESPY for best team really mean?  The only answer I continue to come up with is that it means absolutely nothing.  So the bigger question of the ESPYS is what are we really recognizing each year at this award show?

I never take awards given subjectively too seriously.  Award shows for the arts and entertainment industries are ridiculous.  The Emmy’s and Oscars name their winners based on industry politics and sometimes in the case of the Oscars, past nominees receive their stupid golden naked man trophy due to a previous snubbing.  However, it’s important to note that arts based industry awards at least nominate artists who compete in the same field, there’s a consistency there missing from the ESPYS.

Determining the best male athletes who play entirely different sports comes off strange to me.  The ESPYS are worthless; sports competitions already have winners and losers determined by the outcome of the contest.  The LA Kings won the Stanley Cup by actually winning the game, there’s no need to have a bunch of writers take part in a vote to inform the public who the best team in hockey is.  I guess one sport does need to perform this ritual, it’s called college football.  You get the point though.  Sports removes subjectivity from the formula thus naming a winner in the category of best team is irrelevant.  Plus the awards like league MVP, which does have elements of subjectivity, has already been decided by the league, so again what is the point of an ESPY?

Unlike the ESPYS, winning an Emmy or Oscar is a win for everyone involved.  The actor becomes instantly more credible with an Oscar win which leads to more roles.  Studios can market their films by using phrases such as “from Oscar winning director….”  The ESPYS hold no such status for the athlete.  Last I checked LeBron James or Tiger Woods are not considered any more important by their number of ESPYS award wins.  On baseballreference.com there are no ESPYS listed under the awards section of a player’s bio.  Once again adding to the insignificance of this show and the dumb awards they hand out.

The redundancy is astonishing at the ESPYS.  For instance, Novak Djokovic was named tennis player of the year.  The man who in 2011 held the number one ranking, won three major titles, and did not lose a match for the first five months of the calendar, took home the ESPY. (Well, no shit)  Did anyone vote otherwise?  Why would someone vote for Nadal in the category if the ATP itself already awarded Djokovic the same honor?  All the professional sports leagues had an ESPY given to the respective sports top player, basically the MVP.  Other individual sports top performer were handed ESPYS based on their popularity or in the example of golf, the southern guy with a funny first name that happened to win this year’s Masters.  Talk about a filler.

Athletes do owe gratitude to ESPN on some level.  ESPN’s influence can propel a marginal athlete whose claim to fame is that they dunk really well into the conscience of American sports fans.  This can possibly lead to more cash opportunities for the athlete through endorsement deals.  So I understand why they attend the show.

I think it would be great for any athlete nominated for an ESPY to pull off a Marlon Brando Godfather Oscar win if they are chosen as a winner in their respective category.

All is not lost on the night due to the insignificance of the awards handed out.  I read that Pat Summit was recognized for her career accomplishments in coaching.   The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance went to former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who suffered a spinal cord injury leaving him paralyzed, both adding touching moments to the broadcast.  Plus Maria Sharapova was present looking all glamorous in a designer dress.  Although, I do prefer her hair pulled back, all sweaty, long legs protruding from a short skirt as she smacks tennis balls across the net.

The ESPYS will continue to be held every year or as long as ESPN is in existence.   Since that’s the case, I would like to offer a few suggestions for the producers to at least ponder the idea of removing some of the current categories in lieu of the following:

  • Best underperforming athlete with a substantial multi-year contract.
  • Best athlete with hottest girlfriend/wife-voted by their peers.
  • Best made up weird athlete persona brought upon by sudden success.  I would deem this the Brian Wilson Award.
  • And to keep up with what this show truly signifies -the insanity of painfully viewing the obvious –  I think the award for the longest field goal of the year would be a nice honor.  Think of the presenter actually reading these lines from the teleprompter.

“And now the nominees for the longest field goal of the year.  David Akers of the San Francisco 49ers, who kicked a 48 yard field.  The second nominee Sebastian Janikowski of the Oakland Raiders successfully attempted a 51 yard field goal and lastly Dan Carpenter of the Miami Dolphins whose longest field goal was recorded at 46 yards….and the ESPY goes to….”

If the ESPYS have ever produced anything of substance, it occurred in the inaugural year of the award show.  It was this:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E

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