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The 2021 ESPYs Are Not Good

The ESPYs are ESPN’s annual awards, given to the best athletes and performances across a variety of sports. Most years, they aren’t too bad. They kind of come and go every year, and I’m not sure a ton of people really pay attention to them all that much. I randomly came across the list of nominees for the 2021 ESPYs, and I have a lot of problems with it.

Best Male Athlete is Skewed

Tom Brady, Connor McDavid, Nikola Jokic, and Lewis Hamilton are the finalists for this award. For my money, Hamilton has been more dominant at F1 this year than any of these other three guys have been at their respective sports. Unfortunately, there’s no shot Lewis Hamilton walks away with this award. People who vote for the ESPYs are the same people who consume a fair amount of ESPN, and ESPN doesn’t give any shine to F1. Eight of the last nine Best Male Athlete winners have been NBA players, which kind of goes to show how skewed this award is.

Best Breakthrough Athlete Omission

Justin Herbert, Chase Young, LaMelo Ball, and Crystal Dangerfield are the finalists for Best Breakthrough Athlete. While this award usually goes to a rookie, the official description says it could go to anyone who has a breakthrough season to the point that they become widely recognized. Under those parameters, I have no clue why San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. isn’t on this list. This also seems like an award that should be broken up into men’s and women’s categories, because there have been more female breakthrough athletes than just Crystal Dangerfield. Coco Gauff could probably qualify.

Best MLB Player is an Outright Disaster

Wow, where do I even begin with this one. The finalists for Best MLB Player are Jose Abreu, Trevor Bauer, Corey Seager, and Shohei Ohtani. First of all, considering that the list of finalists was released after the whole Trevor Bauer situation came to light, his inclusion is unbelievably tone-deaf. That’s not even the worst part, because of all the pitchers that could be here, WHERE IS JACOB DEGROM? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It’s an absolute joke that he isn’t on this list, especially considering that he could win MVP this season.

Jose Abreu just won AL MVP over 60 games – he can stay but there’s an argument to be made that he shouldn’t be here. Corey Seager is an understandable pick considering that he just won World Series MVP, but he isn’t one of the four best players in MLB. Honestly, I think Shohei Ohtani is the only finalist who you can’t make an argument to take off the ballot. Also, I don’t care if Mike Trout is hurt right now, he should be a finalist every season.

Best NBA Player Omission

Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, and Chris Paul are finalists for this award. Best NBA Player confuses me because it has been awarded to the NBA MVP only five times in its 26 years of existence. I don’t know if that says more about the NBA voters or the ESPYs, but it’s weird either way. Anyway, Joel Embiid should be here considering that he just finished second in MVP voting.

Best NHL Player Omission

Sidney Crosby should be here. Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Patrick Kane are all deserving, but Crosby should be here.

That’s all I have for now, but I’m sure that fans who follow other sports more closely would have some issues with other ballots.


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