Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why Jordan Spieth was robbed, the significance of Caitlyn Jenner's speech, and other 2015 ESPY take-aways

I love the ESPY's, they've gotten corny and predictable over the years but it's one of my guilty pleasures. However, from the first 30 seconds of this year's awards I knew it wouldn't hold a candle to last year's for a few reasons, being that Drake wasn't there to host and Stuart Scott couldn't bring us all to tears with another incredibly inspiring speech. Anyways, here are my take-aways from this year's awards:

Joel McHale had some typical corny award show jokes, and I was relieved that the night concluded with only one overplayed DeflateGate joke. Some were a little awkward but I laughed out loud at his jokes regarding Jason Pierre-Paul and C.J. Wilson... but he still wansn't Drake.

I get that it's hard to compete with last year's "Honerable Mentions" and "Side Pieces" so I'll just leave it at that. (But seriously, why isn't Drake hosting every year's ESPY? He was GOLD last year.)

The first thing to aggravate me was when Mo'ne Davis won the "Best Breakthrough Athlete" award over Jordan Spieth. I initially thought they must have realized that they couldn't let her lose after nominating her because it would hurt her feelings. Fourteen year old girls are very fragile, I get it. Then I remembered that qualified individuals no longer determine who gets this award... it's the internet who does. Naturally the people of Twitter voted for the little league girl (who will be irrelevant in baseball after her teammates hit puberty) because Mo'ne has a feel good story. She's a hell of a young athlete, and I don't want to take away from that because she is a boss, and I anticipate her having a great colligiate softball career or something. That being said, she isn't Jordan Spieth.

Spieth was the first golfer since Tiger Woods to win four tournaments in one season before the British Open. He's only 21 years old. He's one victory shy of tying Tiger for having the most tour wins before turning 22. In his last 20 international starts he's won six times, finished in the top 3 eleven times, and in the top 10 fourteen times. If I could switch places with anyone in the world right now it would be him. I'm officially on board for a law that requires you to pass an IQ test in order to vote for anything, whether it's for political office, The Voice, or anything related to sports. I'll move on now.

Halle Berry presented my favorite award, the Pat Tillman award, and we basically learned that she doesn't age. She will be a great-grandmother and still fine as hell. Black women age so beautifully. I once met a Jamaican woman who was 74 years old with the complexion of someone in her 30's. Must be nice.

Lebron James won the ESPY for best championship performance, which I had anticipated. I'm a huge Lebron fan, and believe that him taking that awful Cavs team to the finals speaks volumes about the player he is, but, I don't know how I feel about it considering Madison Bumgarner actually won the World Series this year and American Pharaoh won the first Triple Crown in 37 years. What do you expect from ESPN though, right?

Rob Gronkowski beat out Derrick Rose, Lindsey Vonn, and Alex Rodriguez for "Best Comeback Athlete." I felt that all nominees were deserving. I love Derrick Rose. I sat in my living room wearing his jersey and screaming my head off (with no one but my two dogs) while watching every game of the Cavs series and was so impressed with his level of play considering all of his recent injuries. As for Alex Rodriguez, I'm a fan after this season. New York wanted nothing to do with him after his suspension and yet, with an asterisk next to his name and despite all the criticism, he's absolutely crushing it. I love that he's just embracing this new bad guy role. The award was definitely given to the right guy though, because Gronk is the only person to come back from an awful injury and still have such a huge impact in helping his team win the Super Bowl his first year back. Perhaps I'm bias.

Now, onto the "Best Play" award, clearly Odell Beckam Jr. had the best catch of the season and undoubtedly the most impressive catch I've ever seen in a football game. However, that touchdown play didn't help New York beat the Dallas Cowboys that day. The Giants didn't even make the playoffs. Again, I'm bias, but Malcolm Bulter's nominated play singlehandedly won the Patriots the Super Bowl... just saying. I'll give you your catch of the century, Odell. At the end of the day the Lonbardi is better than an ESPY.

My girls on the USWNT won the "Best Team" award, and rightfully so. I saw some people upset about the Chicago Blackhawks not winning considering the dynasty they've recently become, but if you think about it, the girls won it all on an international level. Might I add how beautiful they all looked.

Speaking of beautiful... Kevin Love looked ADORABLE.

Now, moving onto the most controversial part of the night, Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. There was a lot of debate leading up to the ESPY's because of this, and many questioned how deserving she was. Personally, being from Massachusetts, I would have loved to see someone like Pete Frates win the award, but can still certainly understand why Caitlyn did. It's very easy for society to judge her for her transformation and call her terrible names because they simply don't understand what trans people go through. I sure as hell don't understand it, but can't begin to fathom the struggle they face every day of their lives. When she pointed out that the suicide rate for transgender people was 40% I was flabbergasted... that is until I looked at my Twitter timeline and saw all the lack of support she was getting. The way many reacted to her accepting the award is exactly why she earned it in the first place.

The truth is that there are many courageous people who deserved the award, but many of us don't realize what Caitlyn Jenner has done for those like her, who represent an entire community of living-breathing-feeling people who are forced to feel ashamed of who they really are by those of us who cannot relate. It doesn't hit as close to home for those of us who aren't directly impacted by the issue. They're different from us, but still deserve respect, just as Caitlyn said to us. She took her very public platform and courageously gave trans people a voice with her acceptance speech, all while killing it in a stunning Versace gown.

In conclusion, I'm still pretty pissed about Jordan Spieth.

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