If you missed my article from Tuesday, it's the worst time of the year to be a sports fan. Baseball is the only sport currently in session, and with the All-Star game being played on Tuesday, last night was the first night in months where you couldn't find a single sporting event on TV. Luckily, ESPN created an awards show 20 years ago to turn around what used to be the lowest rated night of the year for their network.
The ESPYs are a special thing. They give incredibly rich athletes who've been blessed with amazing genes and athletic ability the rare chance to be celebrated again for something they've already been celebrated for. Hey Dwyane Wade, remember when you won the NBA Finals like three weeks ago? Let's reminisce and celebrate your greatness that we weren't able to sufficiently celebrate 19 days go.
I DVRed the four-hour event (two-hour award show preceded by a two-hour red carpet show) and have for you a complete recap of an award show that does a complete recap of the past 12 months in sports, even though the first 6 months were already recapped between Christmas and New Years. Enjoy!
- :01 Hannah Storm kicks off the coverage from Los Angeles with an "Images of the Year" montage that quickly goes through all of the great sports moments over the past year. Hannah Storm, while quite possibly as old as Erin Andrews and Michelle Beadle combined, is looking good and nothing like the "sausage casing wrapping" Tony Kornheiser accused her of resembling in 2010. It doesn't make up for the lack of Erin Andrews and Michelle Beadle, though. I wonder how Erin Andrews feels about working a meaningless baseball game, as opposed to this meaningless awards show. And Did Michelle Beadle just move to Bridgestone full-time?
- :03 They've set up PTI, but with Mike Wilbon and Jon Barry; Tony Kornheiser, of course, isn't at the ESPY's because he's not allowed to be within 50 feet of Hannah Storm.
- :05 The first "highlights" we see of athletes are of Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson playing NCAA Football 13. No clue who's winning, but 50-year old Hannah Storm just said she wished she was playing with them, which is at least her second lie of the night. (The first being that she was excited to be there, talking to a television audience about two 21-year-olds playing video games).
- :07 Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants shows up with Sasquatch, just so people will remember that he's still a baseball player and still very weird.
- :15 I record PTI every day, but I can't watch it if either Wilbon or Kornheiser aren't there. Watching them try and duplicate PTI with Jon Barry instead of Kornheiser is like watching an episode of Seinfeld with all of the original cast except for Jason Alexander, and not just because Jason Alexander has played Tony Kornheiser on a television show before. Actually, having Jason Alexander pretending to be Tony Kornheiser arguing with Mike Wilbon would be 1000 times better than plugging in Jon Barry. Why don't they do that? I'm pretty sure he's not doing anything. Gonna fast forward through the rest of the PTI segments, hopefully that's 75% of the red carpet special.
- :21 Something called "The Buick Human Achievement Team" is on the screen. I'm not really listening, but as far as I can tell they used to be college athletes and now they are Buick employees? Do they have a disease or anything? Not quite sure why they're at the ESPY's or called the Human Achievement Team, might actually delete this if I find out later that they do actually have diseases.
- :24 Mike and Mike are debating "Best Record-Breaking Performance," do the losers of this award have their records taken away?
- :25 Hannah Storm is talking to the Gatorade Players of the Year (one guy, one girl) and one of them, Johnathan Gray, just complained about how heavy the award was. Can they take it back from him? Cause he sounds like he doesn't deserve it.
- :30 So they're giving awards away before the award show even begins. Griffin III and Brittney Griner, both from Baylor, won best male and female college athletes. Most memorable thing from this was when Griner said, "I have one pair of socks, they're all red, they say bacon." Fascinating. Also, this is the second time someone's commented on the weight of the award, and we're still 90 minutes from the beginning of the award show.
- :37 I decided not to fast forward this PTI segment and immediately regretted it. They're debating the best ESPY category. "So of all these things that we've completely made up, which is the best made up thing?
- :44 The Gronkowski brothers sound exactly how you would think the Gronkowski brothers would sound.
- :51 Mike and Mike just interviewed Eli Manning and Victor Cruz, but unlike Eli's SNL appearance, nothing especially funny or ridiculous happened. (That's not a typo, I'm really just complimenting Eli's SNL performance. It was awesome. I don't have to be a dick for this entire article.)
- :57 Chris Berman does his top ten plays. Or as I like to call them, "The 10 plays you'll see 10 more times each again tonight."
- 1:06 Colin Cowherd, Charissa Thompson (Michelle Beadle's replacement) and Brian Wilson are ranking the best dressed. Brian Wilson wins the award despite wearing a wool hat in the summer like everyone you've ever hated.
- 1:21 First sign of a Kardashian! Hannah Storm gives Kim and Kris Humphries "Divorce of the Year.” Thank God they got married, otherwise Kris Humphries wouldn't have been invited to the ESPYs at all. (Kim still would have.)
- 1:23 Jeremy Lin being interviewed by Hannah Storm. Last year this time he was watching the award show from Landry Fields' couch (they didn't know each other, he just broke into his apartment).
- 1:26 PTI is doing role-play. Instead of Jon Barry pretending to be LeBron James, I wish he was pretending to be Jason Alexander pretending to be Tony Kornheiser.
- 1:32 Pretty sure Allen Stone, the guy/singer entertaining the 47 people in the "ESPYs Fan Experience" doesn't know what the ESPYs are.
- 1:50 Wilbon and Not Tony Kornheiser interview Tim Tebow and Steve Nash, really wish Tebow was accompanied by Lolo Jones instead just so we could have broken the awkward meter.
- 1:58 The show is finally about to begin, Allen Stone's manager is telling him what the ESPYs are and here's a quick score update…Tebow commercials: 4 — Sanchez commercials: 0
- 2:00 Just started the actual award show on my DVR and see that it's actually two and half hours, not just two. Starting to regret that I agreed to do this/came up with the idea.
- 2:02 To be fair, watching sports highlights set to the Beastie Boys and Orchestra music does make it more fun to watch
- 2:03 Nothing gets an audience pumped up for an awards show like STARTING WITH THE IN MEMORIAM segment and reminding everyone who died during this past ESPY's Fiscal Year. Of course, they left out Buffalo Bills great Kent Hull.
- Rob Riggle’s monologue:
- 2:11 Camera catches Terrell Suggs laughing while Riggle makes fun of Baltimore.
- 2:12 Riggle finishes a full two minutes of shitting on Cleveland.
- 2:13 Crowd erupts when Riggle tells Sanchez about Tebow "Good Luck with that all season"
- 2:15 Two minutes of jokes about Anthony Davis's eyesbrow are completed. Best line: "…Anthony Davis and five of his teammates being picked in the NBA draft, so if you're keeping score at home, that's 6 players and 11 eyebrows"
- 2:20 "But enough about racing, this show is about sports"
- 2:25 Jeremy Lin wins best breakthrough athlete and receives the award from best athlete who has yet to break through a vagina, Tim Tebow.
- 2:31 The fifth Tim Tebow Jockey commercial of the night. Fitting that an underwear company picks a guy who never takes his off in front of girls as it's spokesman. (OK, no more Tebow virgin jokes.)
- 2:42 Brittney Griner just won her second ESPY of the night and asked if she had to take both home with her, or if she can just leave it to whoever comes in second in the best intramural athlete category.
- 2:54 Drew Brees wins best record-breaking performance, which makes sense because it probably means a lot more to him than it would to 16-year-old Lexi Thompson. On the bright side though, had she not won an LPGA event at 16 she'd have no reason to be incredibly disappointed tonight. And rather than give her the moment of her life, the millions of people tuning in got to spend five minutes watching Drew Brees tell you the nicknames of EVERY SINGLE PLAYER ON HIS TEAM.
- 3:01 Will Floyd Mayweather appear via satellite from jail if he wins Best Fighter?
- 3:08 The 49ers vs. Saints just won the award for best game. Who gets to keep the ESPY for best game? The Stadium?
- 3:39 Matt Stafford wins best comeback athlete. I'm OK with that I guess, all the other players might as well have stayed injured. Can Nas get an ESPY for best comeback rapper? Or will he disappear again right when this is over?
- 3:50 LA Kings win best upset. Every audience member wins "most upset" that Allen Stone and Nas were the musical acts tonight. They all get to bring home an ESPY for sitting through their performances.
- 3:58 They're about to give the award for Best Play and I think they'll give it to Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. I saw it and stirred me on the inside. The script was like nothing I'd ever heard and the performances left a mark on me that still hasn't left.
- 4:00 OK, so Indiana's game winning shot against Kentucky won Best Play. It didn't win the National Championship or anything, but it's sports related so it makes sense. But still, if you see one thing on Broadway this season, make it the Tony award winning Clybourne Park.
- 4:11 Tim Tebow wins Best Moment, which apparently is totally different then Best Play, even though his Best Moment was technically a game-winning play.
- 4:20 In all seriousness, these moments with Pat Summitt and Eric LeGrand are what the ESPYs are all about… Well I guess technically they’re really all about getting people to watch ESPN when there’s no sports on, but it’s nice that moments like those get to happen because of it.
Thankfully, my DVR stopped at 4 and a half hours so I missed best Male Athlete, Best Team and I'm assuming Best Bowler, because I didn't see that one handed out at all. I can see that LeBron James won at least two of those three, so I'm grateful we were able to get him two more awards to fill up his empty trophy case. I think the most surprising thing to me was that Mario Gutierrez won Best Jockey over Tim Tebow's V-neck under shirts.
Was there anything I missed? Feel free to submit your favorite parts of the ESPY's below in the comments!
Chris Burns is a comedian, writer and producer based in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter @chrisburns to get show updates and to be entertained while you're supposed to be working.
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