10 Best ESPY Awards Moments
From poking fun at some of sports’ biggest names to somber and inspirational speeches, ESPN’s annual celebration of sports has had many memorable moments.
The 2015 ESPY Awards has already generated a lot of buzz since it was announced that Caitlyn Jenner would be the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. In addition, fans wonder how far Joel McHale will go in his opening monologue since he regularly satirizes entertainment on his TV show The Soup. Check out some of the most popular clips from a variety of hosts, athletes, and award recipients.
Justin Timberlake owned the ESPY stage in 2008. Of course, you can expect a musical number from the “Sexyback” singer and frequent Saturday Night Live host. Timberlake’s “I Love Sports,” backed by NBA player Greg Oden on piano and a gospel choir, is a dedication that any sports fan would enjoy.
Timberlake also comedically inserted himself in a few of the year’s most memorable sports moments, like the New York Giants 2008 Super Bowl win and Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Farve’s press conference about the ongoing discussion of his retirement.
Also in 2008, Will Ferrell accepted the ESPY for Best Male Athlete for golfer Tiger Woods. Ferrell was very modest in his typical deadpan delivery, and left fans wishing that he could accept awards for more absent athletes and celebrities.
In 2014, Drake took a cue from musical hosts like Timberlake and put his vocal chops to good use. Drake did a spot-on Manny Pacquiao impression when he showed how the boxer likes to relax – going into the recording studio to sing the Frozen tune “Let It Go.”
Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell spoof LeBron James’ drawn out, dramatic announcement that he would be playing for the Miami Heat in 2010. You will be eagerly awaiting to discover which food chain Carrell is taking his appetite to.
When Jamie Foxx hosted in 2004, he used his comedic prowess to up the ante when it came to joking about athletes. Foxx took on the persona of Coach Do Dirty, taking shots at everyone from Pete Rose to Terrell Owens. Not to mention, he may be wearing the tightest shorts ever.
NCAA head basketball coach and broadcaster Jim Valvano’s inspirational speech in 1993 touched many people’s hearts. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer a year prior, and passed away a month after the award show. The Perseverance Award was named in his honor as Valvano said, “Don’t give up…Don’t ever give up!”
In 2014, ESPN anchor Stuart Scott received the Jimmy V award for his ongoing battle with cancer. His emotional speech led to a number of current and former athletes to send their well-wishes. He passed away in early 2015 at the age of 49.
NCAA basketball coach Pat Summitt received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2012, after announcing in August 2011 that she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and would end her coaching career at the end of the 2011-2012 season. Under Summitt’s leadership from 1974 to 2012, the University of Tennessee women’s team won the NCAA Division I championship eight times, and Summitt never had a losing season.
Former NFL player Michael Sam accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2014 as the first openly gay professional football player. Sam shared how he made his announcement prior to the draft because he wanted to be true to himself.
The 2015 ESPY Awards will air on July 15 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.