Last night, ESPN aired it’s annual awards show, the ESPYs. Granted, I normally don’t tune in to watch, although the last 2 years have been a different story (hey Mercer winning Best Upset in 2014). I won’t lie, as much as I disagree with it, the fact that Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe award did peak my interest because I wanted to see her speech. Not only that, but it been a year since the late Stuart Scott gave one of the most moving, inspiring speeches at the ESPYs and I was intrigued to see how ESPN would honor him.
I’ll go on record to say, I’m normally not one to cry, at anything. But I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing last night. Sports has a funny way of bringing people together and it also has funny ways of making us realize the important things in life.
The first being was Lauren Hill’s parents accepting the Best Moment Award on behalf of Lauren, who passed away in April, from an inoperable brain tumor.
The biggest thing that I took away from Lauren’s parents, was that you should never let anything stand in your way of your dreams because life is short. And that it doesn’t matter what hand your dealt in your life, you can beat it with determination and perseverance.
The second speech that I was literally in tears through the whole thing, was Devon Still. Still, plays football for the Cincinnati Bengals and his daughter, Leah Still, is 5 years old and battling cancer. He showed up not being able to concentrate (for good reason) and the Bengals did an extremely classy thing, and kept him on the practice squad so he could keep his insurance. That warmed my heart so much, when I heard that. But the tears rolled, and kept rolling, when he accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award on behalf of his daughter. I don’t have any words to describe his speech, it’s something you just have to watch for yourself.
The speech that was the most inspiring, to me personally, was Danielle Green’s speech when she accepted the Pat Tillman Award for Service. Just to know what she went through as a member of our armed forces and then how she overcame the hardship that was thrown at her, is so inspiring on so many levels.
Just wow, Green’s speech was so encouraging and uplifting.
The full list of the 2015 ESPY winners
Best Team – US Women’s Soccer
Best Male Athlete – Stephen Curry
Best Play – Odell Beckham’s catch
Best Comeback Athlete – Rob Gronkowski
Best Female Athlete – Ronda Rousey
Best Moment- Lauren Hill
Jimmy V Award for Perseverance – Devon and Leah Still
Pat Tillman Award for Service – Danielle Green
Icon Award- Derek Jeter
Arthur Ashe Award for Courage – Caitlyn Jenner
Best Championship Performance – Lebron James
Best Male College Athlete – Marcus Mariota
Best Female College Athlete – Missy Franklin
Best Breakthrough Athlete – Mo’ne Davis
Best NBA Player- Stephen Curry
Best Record Breaking Performance – Peyton Manning throws record 509th touchdown pass
Best Upset – Ole Miss over Alabama (although I think Ga State over Baylor was better. And I don’t get why the 1st 2 rounds of March Madness wasn’t a nominee…that was pure insanity this year)
Best Fighter- Ronda Rousey
Best Jockey – Victor Espinoza
Best Game – Patriots v Seahawks
Best Coach/Manager – Steve Kerr
Best International Athlete – Lionel Messi
Best NFL Player – Aaron Rodgers
Best MLB Player – Mike Trout
Best NHL Player- Jonathan Toews
Best Driver – Kevin Harvick
Best WNBA Player – Skylar Diggins
Best Male Golfer- Jordan Spieth
Best Female Golfer – Lydia Ko
Best Male Tennis Player – Novak Djokovic
Best Female Tennis Player – Serena Williams
Best Male Action Sports Athlete – Ryan Dungey
Best Female Sports Athlete- Kelly Clark
Best Male Athlete with a Disability – Krige Schabort
Best Female Athlete with a Disability – Becca Meyers
Best Bowler – Jason Belmonte
Best MLS Player – Robbie Keane
Of course I’d be remiss, if I didn’t include my two all time favorite speeches from the ESPYs. Stuart Scott and Jimmy V. Both speeches are so incredibly inspiring and something that everyone has to see at least once in their lifetime.
“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” – Jim Valvano
Until next time,