Last Year, Earl and I went through the ESPY ballot and made our picks. This year I opened it up to the entire 7# panel.
I’m going to go in reverse order, so you can make your picks with us as you watch the show.
This section here is the mid-major awards- out sport by sport ones, the best song, best comedy, best guest appearance etc. Come back tomorrow for the Major awards, and by all means, place your thoughts below!
Best Comeback Athlete
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Lindsey Vonn, Skiing
Jim: Alex Rodriguez, and it kills me to say it. But he’s actually winning me back as a fan.
Steve: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees- Hate to say it, but A-Rod is surprising me.
Joe: Alex Rodriguez… Who’da thunk he could do anything after an almost 2 year layoff at 39-years-old.
David: I’m actually going with a baseball player. I hate giving a “comeback” award for an injury or drug suspension, and A-Rod actually did both. The fact that he matters, and as far as we know, clean at his age is amazing, and a waste that he didn’t do it on his own. Pretty much eliminates him from any GOAT status discussions.
Best International Athlete
Novak Djokovic, ATP
Lewis Hamilton, Formula One
Lydia Ko, LPGA
Lionel Messi, Barcelona/Argentina
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid/Portugal
Jim: Terrible list of names, but Ronaldo is the best of this bunch.
Steve: Novak Djokovic, ATP- He is the #1 tennis player out there.
Joe: Novak Djokovic… why not?
Jim: JJ Watt. As said above, he can absolutely change the outcome of a game all by himself.
Steve: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers- Ummm duh, He is a BAAAAAAD Man according to Stephen A Smith
Joe: Tom Brady… hate doing it but gotta give the SOB some recognition for being so good for so long… a lot of folks thought he would never win another Super Bowl, yet, he did which kind of shut up a lot of folks… including myself.
David: This one is a bit hard to decide. QBs impact the game more than any other position. But bottom line, I can get 90% of what I get from Brady from Rodgers, and Vice Versa, the gifts I have from Peyton, I can get from Brees, I can get 95% from Gronk what I have – and so forth. The one player I can’t say that about? JJ Watt. Name me the player that is 90% of what JJ Watt brings to the table.
Best MLB Player
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Jim: From this list? Mike Trout. From actual play, Paul Goldschmidt. But Trout is really an incredible player.
Steve: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers- No one had a better season than Clayton Kershaw last year.
Joe: Clayton Kershaw… changed this pick multiple times… very tough choice to make… in the end he can be just so very steady and good that he gets it over the other players.
Best NHL Player
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jim: Who makes these lists? Ovechkin? This year? Where’s Crosby? I’ll go with Toews then. Two Stanleys, Two Olympic golds, two world junior championships. He’s amazing.
Steve: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks- Led the Hawks to their third cup in six years.
Joe: Alexander Ovechkin… haven’t been following hockey that much any more so I went with name recognition.
Erica Enders-Stevens, NHRA
Lewis Hamilton, Formula One
Kevin Harvick, NASCAR
Juan Pablo Montoya, IndyCar
Will Power, IndyCar
Jim: From this list, based solely on his performance last year, Will Power. Juan Pablo is a very close second though.
Jim: LeBron James, hands down. Give him a supporting cast and he’s unstoppable.
Steve: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers- Curry may be MVP, but LeBron is still the best player in the world.
Joe: LeBron.. who else, when, it all comes down to the truth of it?
David: If I have to play a game for my life, and I have the first overall pick, I’m taking LeBron. That is my criteria. We can talk scoring, we can talk finals MVP, we can dissect how he wasn’t as good the entire year as some, but if we play that game, I’m taking LeBron.
Best WNBA Player
Skylar Diggins, Tulsa Shock
Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury
Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
Jim: Brittney Griner, because it’s one of two names I know. And I hear it more than Diana Taurasi.
Joe: Diana Taurasi… maybe a homer pick with her being an ex UConn Greta, but, hell, why not.. .she is that damn good.
Jim: Right now, Ronda Rousey is the best fighter, pound for pound, regardless of sex, in the world. Mayweather got lucky. Crawford is good. But Rousey dominates.
Steve: Ronda Rousey, MMA- ummm this is a no brainer. She could probably kick Floyds ass.
David: Has to be Ronda. This award always goes to the Boxer, since MMA is pretty much the property of FOX Sports, and its a damn shame that people like Werdum and Mighty Mouse didn’t even get nominated. Rousey always fights the best that the UFC can find, and dominates. No one else does that multiple times a year.
We will return tomorrow with Part III on ESPY DAY!
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