Archive for Saturday, July 16, 2005

ESPYs: Who needs them anyway?

July 16, 2005


Come on, you've got to give it up for ESPN, the Entertainment, Sports & Poker Network.

Despite every gimmick Fox Sports may try, nobody is as consistently self-serving as the guys in Connecticut.

Take the ESPYs - please. Even the name of these concocted awards is a constant reminder of who did the concocting.

But ESPN didn't become a 900-pound multimedia sports giant by sitting back and letting everyone else eat the bananas. Still, many can't stand their tactics.

Scott Andera, our media watchdog, hates the very idea of the ESPYs. He gloats in pointing out how the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show used to beat them silly in ratings when the events were at the same time.

(But that's not fair. We're talking athletes plus movie and TV people. Westminster had the advantage of more disciplined performers. Smarter, too.)

Anyway, the ESPY Awards Show actually took place Wednesday night in Los Angeles, but ESPN doesn't point that out. The telecast will air at 8 p.m. Sunday and treated as if it were live.

We'll be nice and not mention who won, in case you want to watch.

The show is amusing, often unintentionally. You've got all these athletes mingling with some of the best B-List stars in showbiz. Jessica Biel and Patrick Dempsey for sure. Definitely The Rock. Positively Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. Absolutely, positively Nicollette Sheridan, a true supporter of the ABC/ESPN family.

And you've got to love the voting. Some of the categories make for great sports-bar debates. We have a few here.

¢ Best Female Athlete. Candidates: Annika Sorenstam, Maria Sharapova, Natalie Coughlin, Seimone Augustus. Comment: Annika should win, but they will figure some way to get Danica Patrick on stage.

¢ Best Team. Candidates: Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, USC football, Baylor women's basketball, San Antonio Spurs. Comment: We can be sure it won't be Baylor men's basketball.

¢ Best Game. Candidates: ALCS Game 5; Rose Bowl: Texas 38, Michigan 37; NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Michigan State-Kentucky. Comment: Disappointing that UCF-Buffalo football didn't get a nod.

¢ Best Championship Performance. Candidates: Deion Branch, New England Patriots; Matt Leinart, UCS football; Sean May, UNC men's basketball; Curt Schilling, Red Sox. Comment: What's the one thing these four candidates have in common? Right, none was drafted by the Magic.

Snide, snide, snide.

But I'll be watching Sunday. After all, there's a great chance P. Diddy will be there.


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