Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 25th ESPYs

The annual ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards show took place Wednesday evening. I didn't feel like indulging, mostly because so many athletes these days take on social and political causes that tend to be on the "progressive" side. As such, many award winners use their acceptance speeches as one big exercise in virtue signaling. Yeah, I'll pass.

That said, it's hard to deny that some of the more poignant speeches were given at this annual awards show, particularly by the those who were recognized for their courage in battling cancer. The inaugural ESPYs in 1993 featured a classic monologue from former NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano, who seized that moment to announce the beginning of the V Foundation, an organization which has since raised millions for cancer research. Jimmy V died merely eight weeks after delivering that incredible address.

A 2014 speech by ESPN anchor Stuart Scott and 2016 address by NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager (both of whom died within months of their respective appearances) were also just as memorable.

But for me, the one moment that still makes me piss myself laughing is an excerpt of host Norm MacDonald's opening monologue at the 1998 ESPYs. Upon seeing Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson in the audience, MacDonald invoked....well.....just watch.


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