By Jeremy Fitch
ESPYS week is a special time all around the sports word, not just a night to honor some of the greatest athletes to ever come into the public eye, but each year we get the chance to witness the giving of the Arthur Ashe award, Jimmy V perseverance award among so many other great honors.
Wednesday night, ESPN celebrates the 24th annual award ceremony at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. This year the spotlight will be on host John Cena, as fans can tune in at 8 p.m. ET to see if their favorite athletes raise a trophy.
As everything in sports is a competition, these are my predictions on the winners of the fan-voted categories this year.
ESPY Award Categories and Predictions
Best Male AthleteLeBron James
Best Female AthleteBreanna Stewart
Best Championship PerformanceLeBron James – NBA Finals
Best Breakthrough AthleteJake Arrieta
Best Record-Setting PerformanceStephen Curry – single-season three-pointers
Best UpsetHolly Holm knocks out Ronda Rousey
Best GameWarriors vs. Cavs – NBA Finals Game 7
Best TeamCleveland Cavaliers
Best coach/ManagerGeno Auriemma
Best MLB PlayerBryce Harper
Best NHL PlayerSidney Crosby
Best FighterConor McGregor
Best NFL PlayerCam Newton
Best NBA PlayerLeBron James
Best WNBA PlayerElena Delle Donne
Best DriverKyle Busch
Best JockeyMario Gutierrez
Best BowlerJason Belmonte
Best MLS PlayerSebastian Giovinco
Best International AthleteCristiano Ronaldo
Best Male GolferJordan Spieth
Best Female GolferLydia Ko
Best Male Tennis PlayerNovak Djokovic
Best Female Tennis PlayerSerena Williams
Best Male College AthleteBuddy Hield
Best Female College AthleteBreanna Stewart
Best Male Athlete with a DisabilityRichard Browne
Best Female Athlete with a DisabilityTatyana McFadden
Best Male Action Sports AthleteGus Kenworthy
Best Female Action Sports AthleteChloe Kim
Best PlayMSU Punt BlockA few awards I recommend to give your full attention to tomorrow night, because they will be speeches and images that will be played over and over again for years to come are the Jimmy V perseverance award (Craig Sager), Arthur Ashe courage award ( Zaevion Dobson), and the Icon award which will be presented by Justin Timberlake and for the first time, will be awarded to three athletes. Those three athletes, were once in a generation talents that retired this year, Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach.
Now we cannot go ahead to another year of the ESPYS without looking back at some of the best speeches in ESPYS history.
These rankings are my own:
Favorite ESPYS Speeches:
3. Pat Summit: “I’m going to keep on keeping on, I promise you that”
This year we remember the Legend Pat Summit who lived by those words each and every day, and preached that to each person she had the opportunity to meet.
2. Stuart Scott: “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live”
A sportscaster that changed the game of sports broadcasting forever. He is remembered as one of the best ESPN broadcasters, but known by colleagues as an even better man.
He was known for his quotes and that is the only way I can end it, “He will always be cooler than the other side of the pillow”
1. Jimmy Valvano: “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, thats a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special”
Jimmy V had one of the greatest ESPY speeches ever and is ranked number one on my list, for many reasons.
Jimmy V lived by that quote and his spirit lives on today as The Jimmy V Foundation continues to raise money for Cancer research.
My favorite person to host an ESPYS Award Show?
Drake in 2014