I had the misfortune of catching just a moment of the Espys last night scrolling through channels. Stephen Curry won the Espy for something (best record performance maybe?) and offered a few labored comments after winning. But he did not win – he lost. This hodgepodge of athletes and others from the sports and entertainment world is interesting and provides some good moments but it just serves no purpose.
Athletes already have a way to win something – a championship. And that happens by being the best in your league, your division, or your team. Each major and even minor sports leagues have MVP awards, most improved, All-Star teams, and a litany of other awards that can be won.
Quick – who was last year’s winner for best male athlete? Okay. Name any Espy winner not named Jenner? It cannot be done. Not that any award recipient lives in our hearts and minds forever (besides Sally Field and Cuba Gooding, Jr.). Conor McGregor won for Best Fighter and he lost his last fight. Go figure. The gave out a Best Bowler award? Bowling is hard and I am terrible at it. But it barely meets the threshold to be considered a sport. If you can drink and smoke while doing it, I don’t know that it counts (see darts, billiards, and golf).
Last night’s ceremony did include an opening commentary from LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade on the need to address race and law and order in this country. Sports have had over the years moments of societal relevance and impact on culture in important ways. Time will tell if this statement, and their actions, make any difference. I hope the platform they have will yield to some change somewhere.
I do know one thing from last night that makes no difference- winning an Espy.