The Oscars of sports, the ESPYS, take place tonight. They’re always held on the Wednesday after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game because today is the only day of the year with no major professional sports games. Make sure to read us on Friday for the winners and fashion losers.
And the ESPY goes to,
The Last Night’s Game Team
PS – Join the conversation by checking out our latest post, “Your Office Guide to Baseball Small Talk" on Stilletos on the Glass Ceiling.
Five Things to Know About Tonight’s ESPY Awards
- Started in 1993 and held in Los Angeles, CA, the ESPYS stand for the “Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly" Awards. Fans vote for their favorite athletes in categories like best team, best international athlete and best record-breaking performance.
- The annual Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented to a person who possesses strength in the face of adversity, courage and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost. This year’s award recipient is Zaevion Dobson, a 15-year-old high school football player who was killed last year when he protected two friends during a shooting. His mother will accept the award. The award’s namesake, Arthur Ashe, was the first African American to win the men's singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the first black American to be ranked No. 1 in the world. He contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during heart surgery and spent his life raising awareness about the disease until his death in 1993.
- The people watching is great even if you don’t watch sports. Many famous leading ladies (Carrie Underwood, Olivia Munn and Ciara) are in attendance as their significant others are athletes. Lest we forget the athletes themselves; Danica Patrick, Serena Williams and LeBron James always bring their fashion A game.
- TNT’s basketball sideline reporter Craig Sager will receive the Jimmy V Award, named after famed college basketball coach Jimmy Valvano, who weeks before succumbing to cancer delivered one of the most iconic speeches in sports. It’s most powerful statement of “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up,” is the story behind all recipients of the award. Sager who is battling leukemia has continued to work games including the NBA playoffs while undergoing treatments. The award will be presented by Vice President Joe Biden.
- The host for tonight’s star studded event is professional wrestler John Cena. (You may have also seen him making regular appearances as a co-host on the Today Show).
- You can watch the ESPYS tonight at 8 pm EST on ABC. (Red carpet coverage begins at 5 pm EST on ESPN).
- No to Rio. Jordan Spieth became the latest athlete to announce he will not attend the Olympics. The four top ranked golfers in the world have opted out of Rio. This is the first time golf will be played in the Olympics in 112 years.
MLB (Major League Baseball)
- Going, going, gone. The MLB Home Run Derby has become one of the biggest spectacles in sports. Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton made sure the event lived up to the hype, hitting a record 61 home runs in three rounds to take home the trophy. If laid out, his home runs cumulatively would have traveled 5.1 miles.
- Something's fishy. Stanton’s win created a bit of a nightmare for the Marlins organization, who announced they would take a percentage off of a game ticket for every home run Stanton hit. Do the math - 61% off ticket prices is not really team friendly. Marlins refused to honor the 61% - they capped it at 25% off. If you're wondering, the Marlins rank 27 out of 30 in fan attendance.
- Take me home. In last night’s All-Star Game, the American League won to earn home-field advantage in the World Series for the fourth consecutive year. They beat the National League 4-2.
- It was hometown date week on the Bachelorette and contestant Jordan Rodgers finally broke down and talked about his “middle brother.” Jordan’s middle brother is Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who likely doesn’t even know Jordan is on the show because they have an estranged relationship. Or maybe because it's awkward to watch your brother on the Bachelorette?
- NBA MVP and Golden State Warriors’ star Steph Curry recently held a four day overnight kids’ basketball camp in Hawaii, charging an astounding $2,250. (For the record it sold out). Seattle Seahawks (NFL) Michael Bennett, who resides in Hawaii in the off-season, called out Curry for charging such an absurd amount for the camp. Bennett hosts a free camp for kids on the island. While Curry did not directly respond to the Bennett's criticism, he did post on Instagram that if you don't want to pay $2,000 for his camp, check out his brother Seth’s more affordable basketball camp.
- What does home-field advantage in the World Series mean? The MLB All-Star Game matters as the two leagues play for home-field advantage in the World Series. While we don’t know which teams will play in the Series, we do know that the American League team will have home-field advantage. That means your team is guaranteed to play game one (first game) and game seven (last game, if necessary) of the series at home.
Not only does that provide the team with the most fans but also the mental advantages that comes with the comforts of a familiar place and their own beds. The concept of home field advantage exists in every sport, not just baseball, but baseball is the only sport that determines it this way.