The worlds of sports, movies, music and television came together under one roof on Wednesday, the quietest sports day of the year, for ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards. Dozens of stars — including Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, American World Cup hero Landon Donovan, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn — gathered at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles for a night of sports highlights and wacky comedy, orchestrated by host Seth Myers.
Bryant, Donovan, Brees and Vonn each won some of the night’s biggest awards. Kobe, fresh off the Lakers’ latest championship and his second Finals MVP, scored the prize for Best NBA Player. Donovan won two trophies, one each for Best MLS Player and Best Moment in Sports (his game-winning goal against Algeria in the World Cup beat out the New Orleans’ Saints Super Bowl victory, Phil Mickelson’s win at the 2009 Masters and Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette’s performance at the Winter Olympics). Brees was voted Best Male Athlete, Best NFL Player and Best Championship Performance, while Vonn took home the prizes for Best Female Athlete and Best Female Olympian.
Much of the humor during the evening — provided by the likes of Will Ferrell, Jon Hamm, Andy Samberg, Tracy Morgan, Zac Efron, Mark Wahlberg and Luke Wilson — was directed at LeBron James (who was also in attendance) and his recent one-hour special, “The Decision,” which ESPN aired last week.
“Did it really need to be an hour?” Myers asked. “Somebody time me: ’Miami.’ How long did that take? A second!”
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was also the source of much humor. Ferrell came out for some vuvuzela-related jokes and Samberg appeared on the show as Paul, the German octopus who correctly predicted the winners of a handful of matches.
But the highlight of the night was the surprise award given to President Barack Obama. His presence in the building was kept a secret, but he received a standing ovation when he approached the stage to accept his Lifetime Achievement ESPY, given for his “contributions and commitment to American sport.”
What was your favorite moment from the 2010 ESPY Awards? Let us know in the comments!