Watching the ESPYs
by Zach Van Hart
Thank goodness ESPN replayed the ESPY Awards Wednesday night immediately after the first showing. Because it aired back-to-back, a boneheaded reporter (yours truly) was able to watch the whole show after he remembered halfway through the live broadcast he was suppose to be covering the show.
However, my forgetfulness did not go unpunished; as I turned the awards on I watched the best part of the show within 60 seconds, then had to sit through another two hours and change to catch the rest.
I started watching just in time to see the award for Top Male College Athlete of the Year Award. The four choices were the nation’s National Player of the Year in basketball, football, wrestling, and Carmelo Anthony. So of course it made sense that Carmelo took home the hardware.
Carmelo gave the usual thanks – to God, his mother and his coach at Syracuse, Jim Boeheim. Then Carmelo gave thanks to one more person – himself. “I would also like to thank myself. I’m the one who put in all the hours in the gym.” What a perfect moment. A young athlete, one who always seems to be having a blast on the court, even shows a mixture of confidence and humor on stage at an awards show. I could have turned the TV off then and been satisfied.
But instead, I watched for two more hours. The awards were okay, Jamie Foxx had some good bits and all, but wow, were the women ever so attractive. I’m not sure what it was, but for some reason it seemed like that was the greatest collection of female presenters ever at an awards show. Elisha Cuthbert, Jessica Alba, Laura Flynn Boyle, the list could go on and on. And it doesn’t stop there either. Did you happen to see Emmitt Smith’s wife? In a word, she was beautiful.
But this was a sports award show, so I guess discussing the actual awards is in order. After Male Athlete of the Year came the award for Best Team. While the Anaheim Angles won the award, I thought it should have gone to the Ohio State football team. But the real travesty was the Tennessee State basketball team was not even nominated. Come on, 2-26 overall record, 0-16 in conference, coach gets fired for bringing a gun to practice, whole team nearly gets ejected from another game for fighting; great team is not the right term. It’s called a dynasty.
The best presenters were without a doubt the Latin duo of George Lopez and Rosalyn Sanchez. Between calling the audience ugly in Spanish and Lopez’s line, “Any time you get to hit something white with a club (is good),” they were hysterical. It was nice to see the Latin community to get in on some humor action.
OSU was redeemed for losing Best Team when they received the award for Best Game, which was the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. But only half of the winners accepted the award for some reason. Where were the Hurricanes? They played during that game too. Maybe they were planning on attending, but got a better offer from another TV station and abandoned ship. Sounds familiar?
I was disappointed though the Arizona vs. Gonzaga game during the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament did not even get nominated. That was one of the best basketball games in years, but since it did not have a title on the line, it did not make the list. Now seriously, what was the better game – that double overtime thriller or the Bucs runaway Super Bowl win?
My favorite segment was easily the Arthur Ashe Award, won by Pat and Kevin Tillman. This story is flat out awesome and it was great to hear from their father, their friends and their brother, something no one before had. I thought this story was great when the brothers first left their respected teams more than a year ago, and it’s still great now.
After the parade of winners, the show officially ended. But for me, it was just getting started. The 10-minute intro was actually good, not because of ancient Aerosmith singing, but because of all the old-school footage. Especially Christian Laettner’s shot against Duke. Could watch that all day long.
The only real entertaining segment during the first hour was the skit about sports agent Jimmy Silverman, played by Vince Vaughn. Mr. Silverman was scouting out possible big lead talent on a first grade playground. Why was this skit so great? Because I am not 100 percent sure if it was a made-up story.
And so, before I knew it, Carmelo was back on stage, thanking himself. And two hours later, it was still the best part of the show. So, to conclude this column, I would like to thank myself for writing it. And thanks to Carmelo for being a trendsetter.