If you’re a sports fan, there might be a current lull in your life with the World Cup now completed and Major League Baseball in the midst of its annual All-Star break. There is no American football to watch or hockey on the ice – even the Ultimate Fighting Championship will not host another major event for a few weeks. We are fortunate, however, to have an event that celebrates sports in the absence of interesting games. Tonight, ESPN hosts another year of the ESPY Awards.
The Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award has recognized the greatest individual and team achievements throughout the calendar year. Though it began in 1993, the ESPYs only rose to prominence in recent years with a resurgence of unique athletes and newfound popularity in niche events, such as the UFC fights. Though this is a break from automotive news, we figure you wouldn’t mind since these industries maintain the same values: performance, beauty, and power.
ESPY Awards also have a specific connection to North Carolina. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales for the event goes to the V Foundation, a charity established by NC State collegiate basketball coach and television commentator Jim Valvano. The foundation’s inception happened on the night that Valvano accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and delivered a legendary speech during the inaugural ESPY telecast on March 3rd, 1993. It was fifty-five days before Jim Valvano passed away from metastatic adenocarcinoma.
We honor him with the final words of his ESPY speech:
“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all.”
The 2014 ESPY Awards will be aired tonight at 9:00 PM from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California, on ESPN. It will be hosted by Drake and includes an amazing lineup of presenters such as Jeff Bridges, Taye Diggs, Cameron Diaz, Floyd Mayweather, Colin Kaepernick, Jason Segel, Kiefer Sutherland, and Danica Patrick.
ESPY Awards range from Best Championship Performance to Best Game that happened during the year. For a full listing of categories and nominees, you may check out the Bleacher Report article.