Yep, it's that time of year again: The 2013 ESPY Awards (hosted by Jon Hamm, which is just plain awesome) are just a few weeks away. But before Hamm can do his comedic twist on the "Carousel" pitch, there is business to attend to -- namely, settling on the deserving recipients of a score of superlative awards from the year in sports.
This is where you come in. As of this very moment, ESPYs voting is now open to the public. Though slightly down from last year's six overall college basketball-related nominations, this year's awards feature three different nominees from the collegiate hoops ranks.
And the nominees ... are:
Louisville coach Rick Pitino, for Best Coach or Manager
Florida Gulf Coast University vs. Georgetown, for Best Upset
Louisville's win over Baylor in the Women's NCAA tournament is also nominated in the Best Upset category. The end of that game was one of the most entertaining I've ever seen, made all the more surreal by the fact that I was trying to write about an entirely different game (Louisville-Duke) after five days of almost never sleeping. Every reporter in the press room was working on deadline, but we all had time to sit up and watch, which was right about when Kim Mulkey did her best Kanye-at-an-awards-show impression. Good times.
Speaking of awards shows: As good as that Louisville game was, I have to be honest -- I really hope Dunk City wins Best Upset. How could you not? The Eagles, hailing from an unknown school founded the same year Nirvana released Nevermind, upset a very good Georgetown team not just by outlasting the Hoyas, or hunkering down and hoping for the best. They won with ebullient, joyous attack, punctuated by some of most entertaining high-flying displays in recent tournament memory.
FGCU doesn't need an award to validate the brilliance, but among everyone who will be in attendance, would there be any more appreciative a recipient? I can't speak to how much winning Best Coach would mean to Pitino, a wizened master of his craft; nor can I guess whether the Best Athlete award would stay with the now-just-hours-from-being-very-wealthy Burke. I am willing to bet that neither would be as happy to get up on the Nokia Theater stage as the denizens of Dunk City. An award like that, if it means anything, means the most to the little guys.
So, if you are so inclined as to spend a few minutes registering your vote, I humbly ask you to cast your vote in favor of FGCU.
I'm Eamonn Brennan, and I approved this message.