Could the ESPYs Possibly be Less Relevant?

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There’s nothing like reaching the pinnacle of your profession. It’s reserved for the best of the best. That’s when you know you’ve made it. Few do it, which is why it’s such an emotional experience. In Hollywood, you get an Oscar, and everyone treats you like royalty. Even just to be nominated for an Oscar is a great accomplishment, and actors are routinely judged historically by how they have done at the Academy Awards.

Musicians are similar. They’re remembered by their “Grammy-award winning” hits, or their “Grammy-nominated” record. It’s a very sensible way to measure just how good the music actually was and the impact it had on other people, because there isn’t any other real way to do it. Kanye scares people at the Grammy’s because he takes it seriously, alright? It’s for real.

Athletes, on the other hands, are judged by championships and accomplishments on the field. There are numbers – tangible evidence – to evaluate players’ on-the-field accomplishments. There’s room for debate, obviously, but for instance you know that Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time because of the Super Bowl wins, the regular season wins, the records, all of that.

In cinema, there isn’t anything tangible like that. We can say that Daniel Day-Lewis was great in Last of the Mohicans, but somebody might disagree. And really, there’s no way to prove them wrong – unless DDL wins an Oscar, or is nominated for an Oscar. Then, it ‘s widely accepted that his performance was great.

We need the Academy Awards. People cry when they accept the awards. It’s prestigious, it helps settle debates, and for the people who make movies – directors, producers, actors – it makes the work they put in worthwhile. They are being recognized for what they did in the only way that they really can be recognized. It’s validation.

The ESPY’s are stupid. They are unnecessary, irrelevant and they don’t make sense. I watched a decent portion of Wednesday’s show and Rob Riggle entertained the hell out of me, but I was just overcome with how absolutely pointless the whole thing is. Think about it.

  • Players already receive recognition when they win titles, MVP’s and every other award that goes with professional sports
  • Fans vote for the ESPY awards
  • An ESPY is something that was created 20 years ago by a sports network that just declared that it would be the authority on sports awards
  • It’s never, ever mentioned among an athlete’s lifetime accomplishments – i.e. “LeBron James won three MVP’s, one championship and six ESPY’s during the last four years”
  • It gets zero publicity anywhere but on
  • No one know what ESPY stands for without looking it up
  • You can’t tell me a single winner from last year’s ESPY awards. Not one.

Ya dig? The ESPY’s are something ESPN simply decided was a good idea (Much like “Quite Frankly” with Stephen A. Smith) and it hasn’t worked. Sure, I enjoy seeing Hayden Panettiere as much as the next guy, but the actual substance of the awards is completely meaningless.

Let me give you an example of what the ESPY’s are. If I started a company that sold all different types of pine tar (I know I’m reaching – stay with me) and marketed them all differently (Like, I led “Pine Tar Center” every night with one brand), then gave out awards  at a show called “The Pines” based on how the fans of my company voted on which pine tars were their favorite, it wouldn’t make any sense, right? I mean, my company would have influenced the whole thing based on how much we marketed the pine tars. Plus, who made my company the authority on pine tar? All we did was start up a pine tar company and somehow get a television show to go along with it.

Back to reality. ESPN leads off every Sportscenter with LeBron James during basketball season, and does the same thing about half the time in the off-season. So is it a coincidence when LeBron wins an award voted on by the fans of ESPN? Of course not. The entire thing is a popularity contest, and the players/teams get more popular because ESPN tells the world to like them. Plain and simple.

Just because you throw a bunch of hot girls and some funny people into an awards show doesn’t make it any more real. It makes it more fun to watch, certainly, but that’s all you’ve accomplished. It’s still the most irrelevant awards show besides the BET awards, which I assume are not particularly relevant in the real world…although I have to say I’ve never seen them. I also have never heard anyone reference them outside of commercials on BET, so I think I’m making a safe assumption.

I just know that receiving an ESPY is not reaching the top of one’s profession. It’s not reaching the pinnacle of anything. In fact, it’s not even reaching anything. It’s just receiving some weird, metallic goblet-looking trophy that wouldn’t even fetch $50 bucks on Ebay.

For athletes and stars, it’s a party. It’s a chance for Clay Matthews to have sex with Michelle Beadle,  it’s a chance to network and it’s a chance to get drunk and gawk at the fact that Taylor Lautner is sitting three rows away, even though he has absolutely nothing to with the world of sports.

If I was an athlete, I’d go for the reasons I just mentioned. But if I won, I wouldn’t thank God for giving me an ESPY, and I certainly wouldn’t start crying as if I had finally done something worth celebrating. No, hopefully the all-star game nods, the MVP’s, the championships, the big contract, hopefully all of that would hold a little more water.

The sooner ESPN realizes that, the better. Their commercials trying to pimp it as the biggest night in sports are a bigger joke then the awards themselves. Nobody on the planet lends any credence to receiving an ESPY, except maybe Rob Gronkowski, who was clearly hurt when he didn’t win best “Breakthrough Athlete.”

Everyone else is just there to try to have sex with Michelle Beadle. And that’s the main reason Gronk is there too.

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