Memorable moments from the ESPY Awards

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

ESPY 2015 Winners: Awards Results, Recap, Top Moments and Twitter Reaction.

LOS ANGELES — Host Joel McHale zinged an audience full of star athletes at the ESPY Awards, using his monologue to skewer the rich and famous at the show honoring the year’s best moments in sports.Comedian Joel McHale poked fun at New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul during his opening monologue at Wednesday night’s annual ESPY Awards. McHale touched on the frenzied courtship of free-agent center DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers, saying, “And they said there’d never be a black bachelor.” Devon Still of the Cincinnati Bengals and his 5-year-old daughter, Leah, who is struggling with cancer were honored for their strength in the face of serious personal struggle. The joke was of course in reference to Pierre Paul’s recent fireworks accident, which reportedly forced the Giants star defensive end to have his right index finger amputated.

The award, which was accepted by all 23 members of the gold-medal team, capped off a stirring show that transitioned seamlessly between lighthearted and tear-jerking. While presenting the Best Fighter award to Ronda Rousey — who kicked the night off with a verbal knockout of boxer Floyd Mayweather — Watt was joined on stage by Britney Spears. Iraq war veteran and Purple Heart recipient Danielle Green accepted the award named for Tillman, who left the NFL to enlist in the Army and was killed by friendly fire. The “Community” star also got in a jab at Seahawks QB Russell Wilson as the comedian opened the show by insisting that Wilson hand him the microphone and not throw it – the allusion of course to Seattle losing Super Bowl XLIX on a game-ending interception. Pierre-Paul was just recently released from the hospital in South Florida after needing to have the index finger on his right hand amputated following a fireworks mishap on the Fourth of July.

Green balanced the trophy using her artificial left arm and was saluted by a standing ovation. “Ask yourself, ‘What’s my purpose, what’s my passion, what do I want my legacy to be?'” the former Notre Dame basketball player said. “Not all of us are Pat Tillman, but we can all find a purpose on this Earth larger than ourselves.” Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage after a video detailing her transition to becoming a woman was shown. McHale skewered Justin Bieber, Floyd Mayweather, Bill Cosby and the Seattle Seahawks’ infamous Super Bowl decision, among other topics, before giving way to the awards.

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield said, “I just know that’s Bruce Jenner and I’ll leave it at that.” Soccer player Christen Press said all her family and friends wanted to talk about was Jenner. “She’s definitely stealing all the headlines,” Press said. His transcendent shooting has helped revolutionize basketball, and he was the leader of a Golden State Warriors team that went down among the best in history from a statistical perspective.

Mo’ne Davis, the 14-year-old Little League pitcher, said Jenner was brave for revealing she is transgender at age 65. “I know a lot of people give her a hard time about it, but just for her family to give her that support is amazing,” the teenager said. James, whose Cleveland Cavaliers lost to Curry’s Warriors in the NBA Finals, took home Best Championship Performance for almost single-handedly bringing Cleveland a title. Riley Curry, his oldest girl, made the show’s highlight reel for her amusing postgame appearances during the playoffs, including telling her dad to be quiet during a news conference. The UFC champion fighter won best female athlete for the second year in a row, beating out Serena Williams, Lindsey Vonn and UConn basketball player Breanna Stewart.

Watt of the Houston Texans joked, “Please don’t beat me up” before announcing Rousey’s name. “I want to thank all the women athletes who are here for being the change we want to see in the world,” she said. “I’m living such a lucky and blessed life and I’m trying so hard to deserve it.” Davis, who rose to stardom last summer in the Little League World Series, beat out Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones and golfer Jordan Spieth for Best Breakthrough Athlete. How can I live as a full human being?” In a similar vein, Leah Still, the daughter of Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, was given the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. Still’s recovery from Stage 4 neuroblastoma was one of the most touching stories of the 2014 NFL season, with the league and Bengals coming together to aid in her recovery. She cited the dismal statistics regarding transgender individuals—specifically those bullied, forced into suicidal thoughts or even outright murdered—and said she hoped her celebrity status helped foster greater acceptance. “Trans people deserve something vital,” Jenner said, per Alex Stedman of Variety. “They deserve your respect.

Among awards given out on the pre-show were Ronda Rousey for Best Fighter, Victor Espinoza for Best Jockey, Aaron Rodgers for Best NFL Player and Curry for Best NBA Player. You may disagree with some of the award choices or feel the segments were missing the high of last year’s “Side Pieces,” but it was nonetheless a fun diversion during the doldrums of the sports calendar.

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