The #ESPYS Were A Joke Last Night
ESPN's annual ESPY awards would be laughable if the show wasn't so disappointing. Uplifting, motivational stories repeatedly adjacent to has-been celebrities or NSFW humor.
Pretty sure this really isn't a sports awards show anymore.
I'll save the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner comments - criticism or praise - for someone else, except for this question: How does Lauren Hill not win that Arthur Ashe Courage Award?
I'll get back to that in a minute.
I turn on the show just in time to hear about the inspirational life of Danielle Green, who played college basketball at Notre Dame and whose U.S. Army service cost her her left arm. Humbly accepting the award and taking time to mention her fellow soldiers who risked their own lives to return to the battle field and retrieve the wedding bands which were on her severed limb.
She deservedly won the Pat Tillman Award. Well done #ESPYS.
But, hold on. There's a great a joke in there somewhere right?
I mean, earlier in the night host Joel McHale said Jason Pierre Paul is here tonight then this image flashes on the screen:
Sure, football player losses a finger in a fireworks accident. We'll put a prop prosthetic out with a ring on it about a half hour before we give an award to a soldier who lost her arm in an explosion and her arm/hand/finger and wedding rings were severed from her body. Great joke!
Back from break with Alex Rodriguez on stage - which is bad enough - and actor/comedian Ken Jeong of Hangover fame (and more) acting has A-Rod's agent. On behalf of the tainted slugger who is now back from his season long steroid ban, Jeong reads a list handed to him by Rodriguez and apologizes for many things from the upcoming premiere of some show ABC is pushing to the size of Jeong's penis. Yup, they said that, and went on to describe to Jeong's package in further detail - yet, never apologizing for being a cheat.
Yeah, he cheated the game, and fans, and got caught. Again. But, that's funny right? I mean Lance Armstrong should come out next on some type of motorized bike, right?
Next up, LeBron James wins Best Championship Performance. LeBron is the best player on the planet, carried the Cavs to the finals, played great but they lost. It didn't even go seven games. I mean, c'mon. Oh, and he 'beat' American Pharoah's Triple Crown - the first in decades.
Time now to capitalize on the confusion of the audience - and seemingly LeBron James as well - with another twist. They remind us all of the heart warming then heart breaking story of Lauren Hill (if you need a refresher on her story, watch the video below). In short, she battled cancer with a smile, achieved her dreams in spite of her tremendous uphill battle and ultimately died from the horrific disease.
If that didn't warm heart, then this next one will. Let's bring out J.J. Watt and......Britney Spears. Yes! I don't even know if they gave out an award or just stumbled through some scripted -try-ing-to-be-fun-ny-but-I'm-read-ing- time wasting segment because, I had to change the channel.
Next, we've got a pointless, not even in the neighborhood of funny bit that includes the 'Andy Reid Sex Pool'.
What shall we follow it up with next? I've got, it'll fit in perfectly. The gripping story of an NFL player whose daughter has cancer.
Fast forward to today: courtesy of ESPN, Leah Still's cancer is in remission:
Leah has spent the past 13 months fighting neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer. In late March she went into remission from the disease, but she has been going through treatments to rebuild her immune system. Still told Storm that doctors tell all patients who have gone through stem-cell treatments, as Leah has, to avoid the public for 90 days. That's why she was unable to make the trip to Los Angeles with her father to receive the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award on Wednesday night.
Devon accepted the Jimmy V Award on his daughter's behalf and talked about how much the brave five-year-old has taught him about life.
It's a great story and there's a lot of love in that family.
Now, the grand finale: Caitlyn Jenner wins the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
My opinion. It took an awful lot of courage for Jenner to step forward and be her true self. And good for her. Everyone should be able to comfortable with who they are and in their own skin.
I just don't get how it's a sports or sports related achievement? She's a reality TV star now.
And, here's the unanswered sports question I'm left with: While part of her story involves being afraid to 'come out', if you will, had she done so as an athlete would have happened? Would Jenner have competed as a man or woman today? Would sports sanctioning bodies allow Jenner to compete as a woman, in a sport like track and field? Or swimming, or basketball, or soccer, etc.
If the answer is 'yes', is it fair to the other female competitors?
If the answer is 'no', is that discrimination?
In accepting the award, Jenner talked about the terrible treatment and lack of respect trans-people receive. She delivered a great message of tolerance, acceptance and fair treatment. But, I'm still lost on why this is the appropriate venue for it.
As for best athlete, best team, best play - you know, the stuff sports fans tune in for.
Ah, whatever, do you really care anyway?
I'm surprised the show didn't end with the 'Ray Rice Goliath Wins In Convincing Fashion Award.'