2012 ESPY’s Awards and my picks

For decades, ESPN has held a once a year awards event that they call the ESPY’s. At the ESPY’s, they hand out awards for titles such as Best Athlete and Best Moment that are voted on by the fans. Even though they are voted on by the fans, I thought it would be fun to take time and pick each of my winners. There is 30 something awards, but I just took the best 15 awards. Tune into the ESPY’s at 9 PM EST tonight.

Best Male Athlete: Novak Djokovic, LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Verlander

All of these guys are great, but the choice is easy. LeBron dominanted this NBA season and capped it off with a championship, which Rodgers nor Verlander could say. Verlander had a great season winning the Cy Young and MVP but he couldn’t carry his team like LeBron. The Best Male Athlete of 2012 is LeBron James.

Best Female Athlete: Brittney Griner, Maria Sharapova, Lindsey Vonn, Abby Wombach

This is another easy one. I’ll admit that I’m not real sure exactly what Sharapova or Vonn did this past year but I do know all about Brittney Griner. As good as LeBron is compared to the rest of the NBA, Griner is 10 times ahead of anybody in womens basketball. To cap it off, like LeBron, she also came away with an NCAA title. The Best Female Athlete of 2012 is Brittney Griner.

Best Championship Performance: David Freese, LeBron James, Eli Manning, Tony Stewart, Jonathan Quick

This one, though, is a tough decision. I didn’t watch Tony Stewart win a championship, so he’s off the board from the start. David Freese saved the Cardinals and lead them back to a World Series victory, we all know what LeBron did, Eli Manning had a great championship game on his way to his second Super Bowl and Jonathan Quick is fresh in our minds after his great championship run. This could really go to any of these guys, but I’m going to go with David Freese. He pretty much won it for the Cardinals out of no where. The Best Championship performance of 2012 is David Freese.

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Anthony Davis, RGIII, Rob Gronkowski, Jeremy Lin, Alex Morgan

Another one that could go a couple of ways, but there is one clear winner here. First off though, I’m not real sure why Gronk is up there. He was a second round pick playing for the Patriots and had 10 touchdowns the year before. On the other hand, nobody had heard of Anthony Davis, RGIII, Lin or Morgan. The obvious winner though is Jeremy Lin. He came out of no where and dominated the sports world for the couple of weeks that he played. The Best Breakthrough Athlete of 2012 is Jeremy Lin.

Best Record Breaking Performance: Drew Brees Passing yards, Coach K wins, Mariano Rivera Saves, Lexi Thompson youngest LPGA Tour winner

When I was first looking at these awards, I thought this one should go to Drew Brees for that passing record but now I’m going back and forth with it. It was an incredible record, but Matt Stafford and Tom Brady almost broke it too. Winning a golf tournament at 17 is impressive for Lexi Thompson, but the LPGA competition makes me hesitant to give that to her. They’re all great accomplisments, but in the end I think it still needs to go to Drew Brees. He had an incredible season and even with those guys close he was at the top when it was all said and done. The Best Record Breaking Performance of 2012 is Drew Brees breaking the Passing yards record.

Best Game: Missouri vs. Kansas BB, Rangers vs. Cards Game 6, Saints vs. 49’ers

Again, this was an easy choice for me. I didn’t watch the Missouri vs. Kansas game, so I’m not even real sure what happened there. The Rangers vs. Cards was a good game, but it still didn’t catch me like that last game. Saints vs. 49’ers was an incredible game that went back and forth and I remember how shocked I was when Alex Smith took the bootleg run into the endzone for the game tying touchdown, only to have Brees drive back. It was an incredible game and very deserving of winning the Best Game of 2012.

Best Moment: Derek Jeter 3,000 hit, Tim Tebow vs. Steelers, Bubba Watson Masters win, MLB Season Ends drama on final night

With all of the steroid problems in the past decade and the tainted records, the 3,000 hit club still stands pretty clean. The only player in the club that has been linked to steroids in Rafael Palmeiro. Along with Palmeiro, Derek Jeter and Craig Biggio are the only players in the steroid era to reach 3,000 which makes it still somewhat clean and a huge accomplishment. Jeter was struggling at the time, so seeing him finally get his 3,000th hit and doing it with a home run was a great moment. The Best Moment of 2012 is Derek Jeter getting his 3,000th hit.

Best Coach/Manager: John Calipari, Tom Coughlin, Kim Mulkey, Patrick Murphey, Erik Spolestra, Darryl Sutter

This one was a toss up between two people for me. John Calipari coached the best team in college basketball, the best player and they finished it off with a championship victory. Tom Coughlin coached a good team that had to fight it’s way into the playoffs, and they too capped it off with a victory. When you compare what those two had to work with, I think that Coughlin deserves the title of better coach. He motivated the Giants and played against the best teams in the NFL on his way to his second Super Bowl trophy. The Best Coach/Manager of 2012 is Tom Coughlin.

Best Comeback Athlete: Sidney Crosby, Johan Santana, Maria Sharapova, Matt Stafford

All of these players have dealt with rough injuries, and had to fight back to return to glory. Matt Stafford couldn’t stay healthy in the first couple years of his career and Sidney Crosby, once the best player in the league, couldn’t stay on the ice due to concussion problems. The winner for me though is Johan Santana. Santana had to get major shoulder surgery and missed a whole season. When he came back this year, he had one of the greatest moments in Mets history with their first franchise no hitter. The Comeback Athlete of 2012 is Johan Santana.

Best Male College Athlete: Jack Connolly, Anthony Davis, RGIII, Andrew Luck, Mike Zunino

I’ll be completely honest. Along with a lot of the female college athletes, I had to look up Jack Connolly and Mike Zunino because I had no clue who they are. For that reason, they probably won’t win. Just in case your curious though Jack Connolly is a college hockey player who won a championship this past year and Mike Zunino is a baseball All American who got drafted by the Seattle Mariners. Anyway, the winner of this award has to be Anthony Davis. While there could be debate who was the better QB between RGIII and Andrew Luck, nobody in college basketball was touching Anthony Davis. The Best Male College Athlete of 2012 is Anthony Davis.

Best Female College Athlete: Brittney Griner, Alex Jupiter, Caitlin Leverenz, Teresa Noyola, Jackie Traina

Again, besides Brittney Griner I don’t know who any of these people are. It really doesn’t matter though, because I picked Brittney Griner as the best female athlete. So to save some suspense, she’s my best Female College athlete of 2012.

Best NFL Player: Drew Brees, Rob Gronkowski, Calvin Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, Terrell Suggs.

All of these NFL players had great seasons, but one stands out above the rest. First off though, why is Terrell Suggs in this category. If it was best NFL player who got hurt playing basketball, then maybe. Suggs is great but he’s not even the best linebacker in the game, let alone best defender. Anyway this award needs to go to Aaron Rodgers. For the past two years he has dominated and won the NFL MVP in 2011. The Best NFL Player of 2012 is Aaron Rodgers.

Best MLB Player: Ryan Braun, Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander

This one’s a little tough. Braun had a great season and won NL MVP. The rest of these guys had career seasons. I had to go with Justin Verlander though, because while having a career season he also won the MVP and Cy Young awards, which is a very hard task to do. The Best MLB player of 2012 is Justin Verlander.

Best NHL Player: Claude Giroux, Henrik Lundqvist, Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Quick, Steven Stamkos

I’m not a huge hockey guy, but I did start watching a lot during the playoffs. With that being said, that makes this discussion easy. It has to be Jonathan Quick, who was fairly unknown and became the best goalie in the league by seasons end. The Best NHL player of 2012 is Jonathan Quick.

Best NBA Player: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tony Parker, Rajon Rondo

The last and final category is the Best NBA Player, which was a topic of discussion before the NBA Finals. Many people wanted to crown Kevin Durant as the best, but LeBron proved in the Finals that nobody can touch him in the NBA. The Best NBA Player of 2012 is LeBron James.

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