2011 ESPY Awards

Hollywood celebs teamed up with America’s favorite athletes Wednesday night for the 2011 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. The show, which aired on ESPN, celebrated the year’s best athletes and most memorable sports moments as voted upon by the fans.
No fouls were called during the two and a half hour telecast, not even as celebs paired up with athletes to goof about left-of-center topics like the looming NBA and NFL lock-outs, the famous ‘kissing couple’ and Dirk Nowitzki’s awkward shooting style. Host Seth Meyers even tried his own luck at bat with a monologue that featured a pot shot at new mom Victoria Beckham and some good-humored swings at MLB player Brian Wilson’s mangy-looking beard.
The first ESPY of the evening went to L.A. Clipper Blake Griffin for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Next up, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman from the film ‘The Change Up’ (2011) presented Best Championship Performance to Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins. “I’m surprised if you can’t tell” – Thomas said. “This is an individual award but I couldn’t have won it without my teammates.”
The Best Upset award went to VCU for their victory over Kansas to advance to the final four in the NCAA basketball tournament.
Justin Timberlake and Super Bowl MVP/Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers handed out the award for Best Male College Athlete to BYU basketball guard Jimmer Fredette. Fredette thanked his teammates and his girlfriend for ‘making me look good on the red carpet.’
Kiefer Sutherland presented the prestigious Arthur Ashe Award for Courage to Dewey Bozella. An ex-prison mate at Sing Sing prison, Bozella fought adversity and found boxing. Twice convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, Bozella spent 30 years in jail before his release in 2009. Dewey accepted the award before a standing crowd saying: “I am humbled and overwhelmed with joy.”

2011 ESPY Awards
ESPY Awards.

Manny Pacquiao has been named 2011s Best Fighter by the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly – ESPY – Awards, marking the second time he was given the distinction. Pacquiao edged fellow boxers Sergio Martinez and Bernard Hopkins, and mixed martial arts stars Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones for the plum, whose winner was announced during the ESPY awards night at the Nokia Center in Los Angeles today.
The Filipino boxing icon has been nominated for the award four times, winning it in 2009.
Established in 1993 by sports network ESPN, the ESPY Awards picks the top achievers in various sports. Nominees for each category are chosen by the ESPY Select Nominating Committee, with the winners determined via online fan voting.
Pacquiao has only fought once this year, dominating Shane Mosley last May to retain his WBO welterweight title. Prior to that – he bludgeoned Antonio Margarito en route to a unanimous decision win in November last year.
He is booked to face archrival Juan Manuel Marquez in November.

Rafael Nadal has tasted victory over Roger Federer once again. This time, it came from off-court. The world’s No. 2 tennis player bested over the former world’s No. 1 at the 19th Annual ESPY Awards as he was announced the winner of Best Male Tennis Player on Wednesday night, July 13.
While he successfully took over the title from Roger, 25-year-old Nadal didn’t sweep clean his nominations. The Spanish star lost the Best Male Athlete trophy to Dallas Mavericks star player Dirk Nowitzki, who became the first NBA player to win the category since Michael Jordan in 1993.
One of the big winners, Dirk said in his acceptance speech: “I’m so humbled and honored by this. It’s been an unreal year for all of us on the Mavericks.” The 33-year-old athlete, whose NBA team won Best Team, has also scored another kudo as he beat the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James for Best NBA Player.
Other big winners included Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay. Tim won Best Championship Performance and Best NHL Player, while Roy grabbed hold onto Best MLB Player and Best Moment. Skier Lindsey Vonn also had a memorable night as she earned back-to-back Best Female Athlete awards.
This year’s ESPY Awards was once again hosted by Seth Meyers – who took the role for a second consecutive year. It also saw NBA’s rookie of the year Blake Griffin winning the Breakthrough Athlete. Justin Bieber was one of the presenters on the special night.
Best Male Athlete – Dirk Nowitzki, NBA
Best Female Athlete – Lindsey Vonn, Skiing
Best Championship Performance – Tim Thomas, Stanley Cup Finals
Best Breakthrough Athlete – Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Best Record-Breaking Performance – Rory McIlroy, U.S. Open
Best Upset – VCU, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
Best Game – Eagles rally to beat the Giants, NFL
Best Moment – Roy Halladay Postseason No-Hitter, MLB
Best Team – Dallas Mavericks
Castrol Edge Performance Under Pressure Award – Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Best Sports Movie – “The Fighter”
Best Coach/Manager – Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks
Best NFL Player – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
Best MLB Player – Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
Best NHL Player – Tim Thomas, Boston
Best Driver – Jimmie Johnson
Best NBA Player – Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
Best WNBA Player – Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
Best Fighter – Manny Pacquiao
Best Male Golfer – Rory McIlroy
Best Female Golfer – Cristie Kerr
Best Male Tennis Player – Rafael Nadal
Best Female Tennis Player – Serena Williams
Best Male College Athlete – Jimmer Fredette, BYU Basketball
Best Female College Athlete – Maya Moore, Connecticut Basketball
Best Male Action Sport Athlete – Shaun White, Snowboarding
Best Female Action Sport Athlete – Stephanie Gilmore, Surfing
Best Jockey – John Velasquez
Best Male Athlete with a Disability – Anthony Robles
Best Female Athlete with a Disability – Mallory Weggemann
Best Bowler – Jason Belmonte
Best MLS Player – Landon Donovan, Los Angeles
Best Track and Field Athlete – Tyson Gay

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