TWSS: Top 10 ESPYS wish list
Some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment will be at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Wednesday night for the ESPYS, ESPN's annual celebration of the year in sports. "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm will host the event, while mega-famous mononyms like LeBron, Diddy, Hope and Danica are among those scheduled to attend.
Athletes will get all gussied up in ensembles that top even their "podium best" (should we expect a capri pant tux, D-Wade?) and rub elbows with their most famous fans. And even though there are technically winners and losers, even those who go home without an ESPY will get a great party and a seriously awesome swag bag.
I've always loved the ESPYS. Sports should be, first and foremost, about entertainment. Sure, the money makes 'em big business. And yes, sometimes the athletes on the field become real news off of it (see: Aaron Hernandez). But we're drawn to sports -- as players and spectators -- because they're fun.
As many have pointed out, sporting events were the first -- and are still the best -- reality shows. A "Real Housewives" salsa party ain't got nothin' on Heat-Spurs, and even the current inhabitants of "Big Brother" couldn't provide more drama than Blackhawks-Bruins.
Just like the games themselves, the ESPYS broadcast never fails to provide viewers with memorable moments. (LeBron doing the Hammer Dance, Jimmy V's "Never give up" speech and Brian Wilson's spandex tuxedo come to mind.) So what's on tap for this year's show?
Will LeBron hit the red carpet wearing a couture headband? Did Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin get permission to stay out past their curfew to watch the whole show? What will Hamm do to try to top Justin Timberlake's epic 2008 hosting performance?
We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, here are the top 10 things I'd like to see happen at this year's show ...
10. Heisman Trophy winner and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel wins Best Breakthrough Athlete and chugs a Mad Dog 20/20 on stage, just to prove the critics haven't broken that party-boy spirit.
9. Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig wins Best Breakthrough Athlete and sends Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman up to accept it instead.
8. A 45-minute feature segment details exactly how many degrees of separation each of the show's nominees are from presenter Kevin Bacon.
7. Tennis players Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova show up on the red carpet wearing the same dress. AWKWARD!
6. Bulls point guard Derrick Rose shows up. No joke there, I'd just like to see him show up for something.
5. Presenter Sean John Puff Daddy P. Diddy Combs announces mid-show what the hell we're supposed to be calling him these days.
4. Florida Gulf Coast wins Best Upset and NO ONE -- on stage, in the audience, on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, MySpace, YouTube or any other online outlet -- mentions former coach Andy Enfield's model wife. Just let the kids have their moment, eh?
3. In a crazy upset, Cornell wrestler Kyle Dake wins the Best Male College Athlete award despite being an Ivy Leaguer in a fringe sport. (I'm an admitted homer who roots for Big Red athletes, but look at what the kid did! Sorry, Johnny Football, but someone wins the Heisman every year.)
2. Adrian Peterson wins one of the eleven-teen awards he's up for and just says, "An orange peanut!" then drops the mike and walks off. (Google it, folks.)
1. Seventy-seven-year-old Gary Player presents the night's final award ... wearing only his Body Issue best.