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What Do You Get When You Cross Sports and Awards Shows? A Hangover. That’s What.

In an attempt to better understand one another’s interests, the Good Doctor Russell Saunders and I had two viewing parties: First, we watched the Oscars together (his forte) and then we watched Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals (my area of expertise).  We exchanged emails throughout and had a glorious time sharing passions with one another.  We then decided to ruin everything we established by watching the ESPY’s together, figuring that a sports awards show neither of us had ever seen was the perfect way to ruin a good night.  Below is a transcript of our live chat capturing the inanity of the event.  Enjoy.

Kazzy: Ooo! A montage! I love montages!
Russell: It does not bode well that it is their opener.
Kazzy: Do you have a better idea?
Russell: How about Not a Montage?  I do not know who any of these people are.
Kazzy: As soon as you see someone you recognize, shout their name out.
Russell: Peyton Manning!
Kazzy: It’s entirely possible you simply guessed that.
Russell: Mariano Rivera!
Kazzy: 2 for 2!
Russell: Michael Sam!
Kazzy: Okay.. even this is a bit much for a montage.  Michael Sam just broke the gay barrier for montages to open sport award shows!
Russell: Well played.  They’re cramming the whole year into the opening?
Kazzy: I was just about to say I think they plan to show every play of the year.  FWIW, it appears they are not doing the calendar year, but rather from ESPY show to ESPY show  But maybe not. It might cover overlapping 18 month spans for all I know.
Russell: Like the Druids first measured time.
Kazzy: Okay, I literally just LOLed (Do people still say LOL?)  DRIZZY!
Russell: Oh, they finally got around to introducing the host. How quaint.
Kazzy: Drake is interesting because he is a Canadian rapper who got his break playing a gay character on a teen show but has worked his way into the sports world despite being a non-athlete. I sort of love him for all that.
Russell: I… am fine with him?
Kazzy: How’s his outfit?
Russell: Off-putting. I don’t get the “tux without a tie” idea
Kazzy: What’s that metal thing in place of a tie?  This is painful.
Russell: That shot of “Miami” killed part of my soul. I don’t get any of the jokes.  There is clearly no dress code for this thing.
Kazzy: Did you expect one?
Russell: They cut to some guy after the obligatory Donald Sterling joke. I do not know who he is.
Kazzy: He’s a Clipper.  Blake Griffin.  Well, he plays for the Clippers. He is not an old sailing ship.
Russell: They just cut to some man wearing a hideous shirt. Why is he wearing a hideous shirt?
Kazzy: That’s Russell Westbrook. That’s sort of become his thing… the whole black/hipster/nerd thing.
Russell: Ooooh. An almond milk joke. Topical!  He is an athlete?
Kazzy: A phenomenal one.
Russell: Sport?
Kazzy: Basketball. He plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. That makes him a Thunder. And his teammates Thunder.  Or Thunders? Sports team names have gotten weird.  Fat Jokes! When did Drake turn into Joan Rivers?
Russell: Oooooh. Fat shaming the cover guy [Prince Fielder]! Ha.
Kazzy: This is actually sorta funny. If you didn’t get the lead in, Lance Stephenson (the guy being blown on) blew in LeBron’s ear to psych him out and the internet sort of exploded over it.
Russell: I am finding the Lance Cam joke forced.
Russell: The guy in the middle seems to be placidly amused.
Kazzy: He’s often discussed as being very handsome. Thoughts?
Russell: Yeah. Cute. Who is he?
Kazzy: Paul George.  So nice they named him twice.  [Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal walk out to present the award for Best Breakthrough Athlete.  The nominees are Nick Foles, Damian Lillard, Richard Sherman, and Masahiro Tanaka.] Movie stars? What? At least I recognize them.
Russell:  And the audience is not responding to the movie stars’ banter.
Kazzy:  I hope Richard Sherman wins this award, not just because he deserves it, but because I want to see him say something crazy.
Russell: You got your wish! Who is he?
Kazzy: He is the Seattle Seahawks defensive player who blew up the internet when he yelled at that female sports reporter.
Russell: Wow. That is one “I Don’t Give a Shit” reaction from the entire audience.  His outfit is appalling.
Kazzy: I kind of liked it.
Russell: A comedy video with that Blake guy. [Drake and Blake Griffin perform in a skit where they are starring in a movie together, can’t decide on whether the tag line should be “Blake and Drake” or “Drake and Blake” and then each goes on a media campaign pretending to be one another and being as awful as possible to sabotage the other.]
Kazzy: This is fully scripted, so I have to assume it won’t be awful.
Russell: I feel like it is already too long
Kazzy: I’m already on my second beer.
Russell: Ha! More fat shaming!  Is that Chris Brown?
Kazzy: Indeed.  “Breezy”.  By the way, I want to claim having started the whole “-zzy” thing. I’ve been Kazzy since ’08.
Russell: I do not understand how Chris Brown is not a total outcast. I am finding this video generally amusing.
Kazzy: The Cheetos joke made me laugh.
Russell: I liked the fake rapping. [Cut to live show.  Blake Griffin is now pretending to have co-opted the hosting duties with Chris Brown — his partner in the skit — as his co-host.]  OH WHY IS THERE MORE CHRIS BROWN? THAT MAN IS AWFUL.
Kazzy: Did he really call himself “America’s Sweetheart” unironically?
Russell: I think it was ironic.
Kazzy: Ironically championing your domestic abuse is… ironic?
Russell: [Jessica Alba and Russell Wilson walk out to present Best Moment.  The nominees are USMNT defeats Ghana, Kevin Durant’s MVP acceptance speech, and Mariano Rivera’s final game.  Jessica Alba’s dress is by Reynold’s Wrap.
Kazzy: I’m in. She’s on my list.  She’s had children?!?!?! Jesus…
Russell: Best Moment? Is a category?
Kazzy: A few years ago, MLB chose their best moment and it was an entire season.
Russell: The Mom [Kevin Durant’s MVP] speech thing was moving.
Kazzy: Zazzy loves Durant because of his “sad eyes”. That speech broke her.
Russell: I don’t know who he is.
Kazzy: He’s the second greatest basketball player on earth.  I think Mariano Rivera’s retirement wins but would vote for USMNT versus Ghana.  [USMNT wins.]
Russell: I find the whole category ludicrous. And the team clearly had no idea what to do when “they” won.
Kazzy: What is the opposite of caring? That seems to be the theme of the night.  A moment should have a maximum time limit of like, 15 seconds?  [The screen behind the USMNT reads: Best Moment: USA Soccer]  “Best Moment: USA Soccer”… all you need to know about the ESPYs.  How is a team a moment?
Russell: Nobody in this entire theater gives a crap about any of this. It is sooooo obvious.
Kazzy: I like the Ben Stein look some of them are rocking. [Several players are wearing suits with sneakers.]
Russell: [Jeff Bridges walks out to present the Pat Tillman Award for Service.  The recipient is Joshua Sweeney.] Jeff Bridges? I… I am so confused.
Kazzy: Jeff Bridges… in his finest Dockers slacks.
Russell: The Paralympic winner bit is touching. And I like his suit.
Kazzy: Thankfully, the crowd realized they should stand.
Russell: They are gesturing in the direction of caring. I still do not understand the involvement of Jeff Bridges.
Kazzy: Well, you recognized him. If they chose Kawhi Leonard, you’d have been all like, “Who?”  Clearly, they’re targeting the ’30-something gay father of four’ demographic.
Russell: Well, my husband and I are pondering that this may be the most boring thing we’ve ever watched.
Kazzy: More boring than real sports?
Russell: Now Blake is wearing a jersey and slacks?  And I would infinitely rather watch real sports.
Kazzy: That’s Drake.
Russell: I don’t get this bit at all [Drake starts a bit wherein he announces Floyd Mayweather as if he was announcing King Arthur].  Sorry. Drake.
Kazzy: Mayweather is a bit of a self important prima donna.  He’s a boxer.
Russell: “Memoirs of a Geisha” shout-out?  I, at least, like what he’s wearing.
Kazzy: [Floyd Mayweather and Maria Sharapova walk out to present Best Game.  The nominees are Alabama vs. Auburn, Iron Bowl; Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts, AFC Wild Card Playoff; New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings, Stanley Cup Finals Game 5.]  An odd pairing… height-wise, at least.
Russell: But they actually seem to have chemistry. A first for the evening.
Kazzy: Is Sharapova hot-hot or just sports-hot?
Russell: Well, I’m not exactly the best judge of that, but I think hot-hot?
Kazzy: The Iron Bowl (first nominee) HAS to win this one.
Russell: Is every frigging category in this shitshow a heaping pile of preposterous nonsense?
Kazzy: Well, what do you want the awards to me? “Most home runs”?
Russell: The clips are ridiculously long. It’s like if they showed the entire movie per nominee at the Oscars.  Am I right that this is the third category you’ve called correctly?
Kazzy: They do feel long.  Yes, I am 3-for-3 in terms of predicting who I think should win.  I’m ESPYing the crap out of this.  “Best ESPY performance: Kazzy!”
Russell: So am I crazy, or is it patently obvious to everyone that nobody gives a shit about any of this?
Kazzy: I think you and I are currently lapping the field in the “caring” department.
Russell: For the record, I have heard of Dan Marino,
Kazzy: He was in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”.  That’s probably where you know him from.
Russell: I am going to admit that I find Peyton Manning appealing.
Kazzy: In what way?
Russell: In a… “I enjoy looking at him” kind of way.
Kazzy: Oh?  [Kevin Durant emerges wearing matte black pants, a black bow tie, and what appears to be a green crushed velvet tuxedo jacket.]  By the way, Durant looks like an usher in a movie theater no one told him closed several decades ago… Ya know, back when movie theaters had ushers.
Russell: (slow claps the Durant outfit joke)  I have a strange attraction to the Manning brothers.
Kazzy: Trying… not… to visualize… Russell… and Manning brothers… threesome.  Though, that might actually be more entertaining than the ESPYs
Russell: I will refrain from commenting further about that.  Discovering that Peyton Manning is in the twilight of his career and is my age makes me want to go lie down.
Kazzy: Being retired at 40 with hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank is not the worst way to live your life.
Russell: I have a little over a year to make that happen!
Kazzy: How well can you throw a football?  [We return from commercial break with Drake wearing capris, clogs, and some sort of linen shirt and begins singing a trio of joke songs]  Drake has dipped into the Tommy Bahama collection.
Russell: What? Why? Is his shirt made out of a fishing net?  His joke about Dan Marino was funny.  Ooooooh. He has a beautiful voice.
Kazzy: For real? I’m somewhat tone deaf
Russell: I’m guessing I might find funny this if I knew who the hell these people are?
Kazzy: Maybe.
Russell: He’s doing back-to-back joke songs?
Kazzy: Would you rather they give out more non-awards?
Russell: Now that you mention it, I don’t mind this. Comparatively. Not from a “how awards shows ought to be done, dammit.”
Kazzy: [Brian McKnight emerges to briefly accompany Drake, wearing a shirt made out of actual fish net]  Brian McKnight!!!!!!!!  More fishnet…
Russell: [Drake’s second joke song is about ‘side pieces’.]  “Side pieces”?
Kazzy: Women/men you keep on the side.
Russell: This is… relevant to sports?
Kazzy: Lots of athletes have them.  Or, it’s assumed they do, at least.
Russell: I… found that… off-putting.  THREE JOKE SONGS?  Too long. Too many.
Kazzy: If there is one thing ESPN does well, it is overkill.  See: opening montage.  See: the ESPYs.
Russell: I have nothing but love for The Rock since seeing that picture of him from the 90s.
Kazzy: [A powerful piece on Michael Sam’s upbringing and coming out is played before he accepts the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.]  I’ll confess to knowing none of this about Michael Sam.
Russell: Me, neither. I find him even more impressive now. First sincere moment of appreciation for me of the evening.
Kazzy: Did you see the video of him being drafted?
Russell: l did. Found it incredibly moving, not gonna lie.  He and his BF are adorable together.
Kazzy: I debated a post on it.  And the reaction.
Russell: I am cutting the ESPYs a lot more slack for this Michael Sam tribute.
Kazzy: I told you… They’re making a clear play for your very specific demo.  “Russell’s watching? GET THE GAYS!” …AND JEFF BRIDGES!”
Russell: Peyton Manning was a better choice than Bridges for… reasons.
Kazzy: Well, if I had to make a list of “Athletes Russell finds attractive”, I would not have included the Mannings on it.  You threw a curveball there.  (Do I need to explain what a ‘curveball’ is?)
Russell: I know what a curveball is. It’s a curling term, right?
Kazzy: You know what curling is…?
Russell: I love watching curling.
Kazzy: Are we talking about hair curling?
Russell: Har de har har
Kazzy: This extended footage of draft day is amazing. And powerful.
Russell: I concur.
Kazzy: I’m surprised it wasn’t released earlier.
Russell: I am now a lifelong St. Louis Rams fan.
Kazzy: I do have to say, he’s not really helping the gay image with all his crying.
Russell: Please. Dudes cry during sports more than Tammy Faye Bakker.
Kazzy: …who…?
Russell: If I had to spend all night with people I’ve never heard of, felt like I may as well toss out a name you’d have to Google.
Kazzy: OH GOD! The Google images are horrifying!
Russell: Yep. Though I love that she went from being a disgraced corrupt televangelist’s wife to a gay icon.
Kazzy: Can we nominate this speech [Michael Sam’s] for best moment at next year’s ESPYs? Holy crap.
Russell: Seriously, the only moment of genuine feeling and importance in the whole evening.
Kazzy: Are you forgetting Brian McKnight in a fishnet shirt?
Russell: Oh, I had genuine feelings about that, too.  I LOVE that Sam thanked his boyfriend.
Kazzy: It’d have been weird if he thanked his side piece.
Russell: And yet, the audience doesn’t seem like it gives much of a shit. I hate that audience soooooo much.
Kazzy: They’re used to being cheered for. Not cheering
Russell: If you’re that bored to be there, Famous Athletes, then why are you there??!?
Kazzy: Maybe they’re getting paid?
Russell: Why did that softball player wrap herself in a set of drapes?
Kazzy: This feels unfair. You’re critiquing athletes’ fashion sense. I did not critique your actors’ athletic abilities.
Russell: Awards Shows = glamour. That is, if not the whole point, about 80% of it.
Kazzy: I’ve been called many things in my life — good and bad…  glamorous has never been one of them.
Russell: So, legit, I think Drake has done a pretty good job. His bit about Manny Pacquiao singing “Let It Go” is hilarious.
Kazzy: I think he’s being hurt in the live bits by the flatness of the audience.  [Jim Parsons and Victor Cruz walk out to present Best Play.]  I watched an episode of “Big Bang Theory” for the first time the other night. I don’t get it.
Russell: It’s overrated. I have no idea why the hell Jim Parsons is there, either.
Kazzy: Best Play! This is an interesting category
Russell: Why is it interesting? Please explain.
Kazzy: First off, let me predict:  Iron Bowl FG return.
Russell: Golf shots are considered “plays”?
Kazzy: It’s interesting insofar as a play is a definable thing so identifying the best one feels sort of real.  [Iron Bowl FG return wins.]  4-4!  By the way, this play makes me want to yell.  Not the play itself, but my context of seeing it.  Or, in reality, not seeing it.  Can I go on a rant?
Russell: Of course. Rants are always entertaining.
Kazzy: So, Zazzy and I watched about 2/3 of this game at a hotel. It was a GREAT game. But we left early because we had to attend my friend’s surprise party and Zazzy insisted we get there very early, so as not to ruin the surprise.
Russell:  You are history’s greatest martyr. The Joan of Arc of sports fandom.
Kazzy: We walk into the restaurant and I see there is 1 second left on the clock. I say, “One second, eh? I should watch this.”  Zazzy says, “No! We must get downstairs! THE SURPRISE!”  Meanwhile, we were still 30 minutes early.  I go downstairs and get a text a few minutes later. “Something crazy just happened.”  And I missed not only the ESPY-award Winning Greatest Play of the Year, but genuinely one of the greatest college football plays ever.  Not just because of the play itself, but the context and everything.  But, nope, I was 30 minutes early to a surprise party.
Russell: How will you live? HOW WILL YOU LIVE??!?
Kazzy: You jest, but I told Zazzy that when we get divorced, this is going to be the #1 complaint.
Russell: This audience is the worst. I do not understand the point of holding an event where nobody who shows up can even pretend to care.
Russell: [Drake comes out in a Skylar Diggins jersey and does a tribute to her before she comes on stage and gives him a kiss in a highly choreographed skit]  I can forgive the heinous tackiness of wearing a jersey as host of an awards show because Drake has nice arms.
Kazzy: Wait until you see my guns.  This is funny because Drake genuinely stalks this athlete on social media.
Russell: It is ludicrous that he is wearing a jersey and she is wearing a gown.
Kazzy: It’s her jersey.
Russell: We’re Facebook friends. I’ve seen your guns. You have nice guns.
Kazzy: He took an instagram photo in her jersey which some people called him out for (“A chick’s jersey!”).  That’s what I like about him. He does his thing and doesn’t care and manipulates the world through social media.
Russell: He is genuinely funny now
Kazzy: He bucks a lot of the confines of a hyper masculine, hyper mysognistic world: hip hop.
Russell: [Colin Kaepernick and a model whose name we miss walk out to present Best Female Athlete.  The nominees are Maya Moore, Ronda Rousey, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Breanna Stewart.]  A model? And… an athlete, I assume?
Kazzy: I don’t know the girl.  Colin Kaepernick plays QB for the 49ers.  HE has some guns.  But he’s all tatted up.  Beer #4.
Russell: I can forgive copious tattoos if I am given… reasons.
Kazzy: He might give you reasons.  I think i actually included him in the bodies collection last year.  I apologize for not making a prediction here. I don’t know who any of those people are.  [Rousey wins.]
Russell: I think I heard the skier on “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me”? I have no idea who the others are.
Kazzy: [More presenters emerge to announce Best Comeback Athlete.  The nominees are Russell Westbrook, Sydney Crosby, Josh Beckett, and Dominick Moore.]  This lady is cute.  Who is she?
Russell: An actress with whom I am unfamiliar.  I hate her dress.
Kazzy: So many montages. I love it. One year during the super bowl, we did a montage drinking game. I almost died.
Russell: When we finally sit together and watch sports over beers, you must explain your love of montages to me.
Kazzy: Prediction: Westbrook on athletic achievement, but Moore is the “story” choice.  [Westbrook wins.]  I’ll take a half point for that.  You can see his abs through his shirt. I hate him.
Russell: Is it just my tar heart that makes me consider this category just as ludicrous as all the rest?  That shirt looks like my oldest son’s pajamas.
Kazzy: I snorted a bit of beer there.
Russell: He’s cute. Even if he dressed in the dark.  [The ESPY’s begin a death montage with a tribute to Tony Gwynn.  The montage inexplicably ends with a hard cut to commercial.]  The ESPYs do a death montage?
Kazzy: Okay, so heres the thing  THIS is weird: MLB decided not to honor Tony Gwynn at Monday’s All-Star Game, making an official statement saying that lots of people die each year and they can’t honor them all and don’t want to slight those they don’t honor.  I wonder if the Tony Gwynn part was planned or was in response to that.
Russell: Huh. Would never have known a thing about that.
Kazzy: I did not know they do a death montages.  Death montages take the fun out of montages.  Way to go, death.  Though this song might make me cry.  This song and the four beers.
Russell: Let’s see if the horrible audience does that horrible postmortem popularity applause-o-meter thing.
Kazzy: (This is quickly deteriorating as I get increasingly drunk.)  WHAT!  That has to be an editing error… right?
Russell: You mean the cut to black?
Kazzy: Cut to commercial?
Russell: That was TERRIBLE editing.
Kazzy: The ESPYs can’t even figure out the death montage
Russell: [Keifer Sutherland walks out to present the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance to Stuart Scott.]  Keifer Sutherland gets tossed onto the “why?” pile.
Kazzy: Let me ask this genuinely… as an awards show guru… who do you think would be ideal presenters?  All athletes?  Rappers?  Who presents at the Oscars? The Grammies?  Not athletes, I trust.
Russell: The Oscars are almost entirely actors or other people in films.  Same with Emmys (TV) and Tonys (Broadway).  I don’t know what the inclusion of actors means, other than to try to increase ratings.
Kazzy: Actors are better at reading teleprompters.
Russell: Fair point
Kazzy: You might not know who Stuart Scott is, but you know his work.  He made “boo-yah” mainstream.  True story.
Russell: Wait, really?
Kazzy: Believe it or not, ESPN used to be “edgy”.  Olberman was one of their early anchors.  And the whole thing was snark… not being too serious… catch phrases… sarcasm… over-the-topness.
Russell: I honor anything with a legacy of sarcasm and flippancy.
Kazzy: When you have time, Google their old commercials.  Many will go over your head because they are often filled with sports references.  But they are really, really, really funny.  But, yea, “Boo-yah” was Stu’s catch phrase. He’d yell it during highlights when something cool happened. Sort of sarcastically, but with a lot of gusto.  I’m getting drunk.
Russell: That should make further conversation amusing.
Kazzy: Stu gets the Jimmy V Award… an ESPY named after someone because of a speech given while receiving the Author Ashe award at the ESPYs.  I offer that without comment.
Russell: How many virtues get their own ESPY? So far we’ve had “Courage” and now “Perseverance,” right?
Kazzy: Its like “Se7en”. But not at all.
Russell: You seem to know more about this shindig than you first let on.
Kazzy: You’ve never seen Jimmy V’s speech?
Russell: I have no idea who Jimmy V is.
Kazzy: Jimmy V was a college coach who had cancer and who delivered one of the greatest speeches ever at the first ever ESPYs. (I knew the speech… did not know it was delivered at the ESPYs).  Google it when we’re done. Goose bumps.
Russell: Robin Roberts! There because she’s topical, I’m guessing?  Scott’s speech is, I’m sorry, way too long.
Kazzy: She was an ESPN anchor once upon a time…
Russell: Oh, really? I had no idea.
Kazzy: ESPN was very ahead of its time in terms of putting female and people of color in front of the camera.  Again, they were counter culture.  Before disney bought them.  You’re right, this speech is long.
Russell: This speech is too long. I know it’s my creosote soul saying it, but it’s too long. And there are lots and lots of cancer patients who don’t get to stand on stage in front of cheering audiences.
Kazzy: Agreed.  (We’re now both going to ESPYs hell. Which is just watching the ESPYs.)
Russell: This show doesn’t know what it wants to be.
Kazzy: You mean Drake and overly long cancer speeches don’t mesh?  [Drake returns from commercial break wearing an outfit that looks like a cross between Steve Urkel and rainbow vomit and announces he is spoofing Russell Westbrook.]  Um….  What’s happening?
Russell: I… don’t KNOW!!!
Kazzy: I thought he looked like Russell!  [Taye Diggs and Danica Patrick walk out to present Best Male Athlete.  The nominees are Peyton Manning, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cabrera, and Kevin Durant.  Diggs is introduced as the star of “Murder in the First”.]  When did “Murder in the First” come out? 2003?
Russell: Taye Diiiiiiiiiiigs.
Kazzy: Wait, it’s a TV show? I thought it was a movie?  (Googles.)  It was a 1995 film!!!  Taye Diggs was not in it.  Do you like Taye?
Russell: If you like guys, I cannot imagine not liking Taye.
Kazzy: I mean, I think he’s handsome.
Russell: The live, on-stage banter just dies in the dead air of that worthless audience.
Kazzy: Again, I literally just LOL’ed.  You are a master of words.
Russell: I blush.
Kazzy:  I have to say… you like a lot of brothers for a guy who lives in the whitest state in America.  I predict Manning wins.  Danica… sports-hot or hot-hot?
Russell: Handsome is handsome is handsome.
Kazzy:  [Kevin Durant wins.]  Argh! my first whiff
Russell: He is thanking God for winning an award about which nobody cares? Including himself?
Kazzy: God works in mysterious ways.
Russell: And I cannot offer an opinion about Danica’s attractiveness. I have no idea.
Kazzy: I just went on record saying Taye Diggs was handsome and you can’t weigh in on Danica?
Russell: She seems… pretty?  [Robin Roberts comes out.]  I love you, Robin. I hate what you’re wearing.
Kazzy: This is going to seem weird, but I remember Celion Deion wearing a similar outfit once.  Only because I remember Margaret Cho (Margaret Cho!) calling it a “yeast infection waiting to happen”.
Russell: You just mangled Celine Dion’s name in the most epically drunken way.
Kazzy: Celine Deion Sanders?
Russell: This show is like a live-action motivational poster.
Kazzy: [Dr. J and Carmelo Anthony walk out to present Best Team.  The nominees are the Boston Red Sox, MLB, Connecticut Women’s Basketball, Florida State Football, Los Angeles Kings, San Antonio Spurs, and Seattle Seahawks.]Wait.. final award?  [Editors Note: We learned after the fact that there were many, many awards which were not presented during the live show.] There were literally like 6 awards.  Is Carmelo wearing a sequined T-shirt?
Russell: Double-breasted suit – tie = MY EYES!!!!!!!  This is seriously an awards show that can even pretend it presents real awards.  CAN’T even pretend. It CAN’T!
Kazzy: Oi, this is a tough pick… Um… UConn Women’s Basketball Team.  [Seattle Seahawks win.]  Another whiff.
Russell: Oh, Lord. This whole thing is going to require a long-form rant from me.
Kazzy: Here’s the million dollar question…  If we were to show aliens the ESPYs and say, “What worse: sports or award shows?” what do they say?
Russell: Sports and awards shows are both fine, so long as they are never allowed to come within a billion miles of each other.
Kazzy: You know what we need, though, right?  A sporting competition of awards shows types.  Billy Crystal vs LL Cool J in the javelin.  Shit like that.
Russell: My money is on whoever plays against James Franco.
Kazzy: [One of the Seattle Seahawks is wearing a shiny gold suit with matching shorts.]  A SUIT WITH SHORTS!!  A GOLD SUIT WITH SHORTS!!!!!!
Russell: A SHINY SUIT WITH SHORTS!!!  NOOOOOO!!
Kazzy: WHAT IS HAPPENING!  Do you think they have a receptacle backstage where they collect the ESPYs to avoid them clogging the green room’s toilets?
Russell: I’m pretty sure they just give them back and they scrape off the names and use them again the next year.
Kazzy: Well, Russ, in our pre show prep, we discussed whether the ESPYs successfully crafted a sports awards show which you — an awards show guru — and I — a sports junkie — both hated.  I think they did. Which deserves an award all its own.
Russell: And on that note, I am going to bid you good night. The only (ONLY!!!!) redeeming element of this otherwise excruciating debacle was watching with you.
Kazzy:  Indeed, good sir. Good night to you. Thanks for making this… tolerable?
Russell: Yes. Mutual hatred is an achievement, of sorts. And it was… my pleasure. A very painful pleasure.
Kazzy: The painful pleasure was all mine.

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48 thoughts on “What Do You Get When You Cross Sports and Awards Shows? A Hangover. That’s What.

  1. Kazzy: You might not know who Stuart Scott is, but you know his work. He made “boo-yah” mainstream. True story.

    Cypress Hill would like a word with you.

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      • Not sure, but I think a 7-year-old suburban white kid in 1991 (heck, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E I think even predates Cypress Hill, though they weren’t nearly as popular) was more likely to hear Cypress Hill, than watch Stuart Scott.

        Was Scott even doing his thing yet, and was his show on before bedtime?

        (also, how awesome is it that in that screencap B-Real appears to be actually calling you out, ese? Don’t you know he’s loco?)

        All I am saying is, *this* white suburban college student learned “boo-yah” around 1991 from its immense popularity in rap at that time (it’s supposed to mimic a shotgun blast).

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      • Perhaps a better way to note the difference is that Scott brought it to people who didn’t otherwise listen to hip hop. My dad heard boo-yah for the first time from Stuart Scott. I heard it for the first time from Stuart Scott. People in between us who were well-versed in pop culture in general and hip hop in particular surely heard it elsewhere. I guess at that point we’re arguing over when something becomes “mainstream”.

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    • I’m with Kazzy; as much as I hate Stuart Scott, he, for better or for worse, made “booyah” mainstream.

      Cypress Hill had little cross-over appeal; their only hit was “Insane in the Brain” in 1993.

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      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypress_Hill_%28album%29

        The 1991 s/t debut album (featuring single “Hand on the Pump”) went double-platinum (sales of 2 million +). It went to #31 on Billboard 200 chart, and #4 on their R&B/hip-hop chart.

        “Pump” (which, as linked above, features the term prominently) went to #49 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks; #2 on their Hot Rap Singles. (“The Phuncky Feel One/How I Could Just Kill A Man” from the same album went to #1 on rap singles).

        (According to wikipedia, the 1993 follow-up Black Sunday, featuring “Insane”, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 selling 261,000 copies in its first week, recording the highest Soundscan for a rap group at the time. The album went Triple platinum in the U.S., with 3.4 million units sold.)

        Granted, these aren’t quite Nevermind numbers.

        But in 1991 where I was, Cypress Hill (and rap in general, and saying “boo-yah”) was kind of a big deal.

        I don’t mean to diminish Stuart Scott’s cultural contributions. If he DID mainstream “boo-yah”, he’s done more than I ever will. ;-)

        Still, I love those first two CH records, and couldn’t let ’em go out like that.*

        * that = a spineless jellyfish

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    • I decided to see if Cypress Hill also performed the hip-hop single “Jump Around”.

      It turns out to be by House of Pain, but the song was produced by DJ Muggs of Cyrpess Hill.

      #TheMoreYouKnow

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  2. My favorite comment post underneath a video clip of the Sharapova/Mayweather pairing was, “Death by snu snu!”

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      • Should we ever do this again, we might need to include you as a social media field reporter. “Let’s throw it to Chris who’s got some interesting updates on Twistagram.”

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      • Dude, 90% of what I saw was absolutely hilarious, but way, way too much for this blog. My reports would look like this:

        “Holy _____, NFLGoodwitch just said ‘______ that _____ is ______ on ______.’ LOLOLOLOL.”

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      • During our pre-show prep, Russ and I discussed the potential for a racial/cultural element influencing our viewing. In hindsight, there was also a bit of a generational thing. I’m about 9 years younger than Russ and more familiar with hip-hop culture, so I knew the context of the Drake/Diggins thing in a way that he didn’t. I thought the “entertainment” part of it would skew his way and was clearly wrong on that front.

        We actually watched via DVR a day after the event. I avoided sports talk radio so as not to get any spoilers, only to find out the hip-hop stations were all abuzz about it. Less so the sports and moreso Drake. They loved him. So much so that Hot97 played about 30 minutes straight of his music. (By the way, did you see the Hot97 reality show? I think it was on VH1. I only caught a few episodes but thoroughly enjoyed it. Then again, I’m pretty familiar with their personalities since it is the main station I listen to.)

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      • I’m pretty familiar with their personalities since [Hot97] is the main station I listen to.

        For those outside the NYC DMA, this is funny because the target demographic is pretty much the polar opposite of Kazzy.

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      • Am I? Only if you focus on race.

        And other than that, how was the play, Mrs Lincoln?

        Not just because of race, I would say that Hot97 trends both younger and female.

        My assistant is in her early 30s, and I make fun of her for listening to Hot97 in her car.

        She admits to being a “wigger” when she was a teenager.

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      • I didn’t see the show, though R. may have. And the only Hot97 personalities I know are Star and Bucwild, who haven’t been on in a while. They have their own show still though.

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  3. So, here is that free-form rant I was musing…

    First of all, the ESPYs are clearly trying to use an idiom they do not understand. They adopt the manners and form of an awards show without grasping what makes the manners and form sensible (as far as it goes) in those settings. The few minutes of preshow arrivals I caught were terrible. They had taken the “Mani Cam,” a frivolous part of red carpet arrivals at awards shows during which celebrities show off their manicures, and made it into a “Kick Cam” (if memory serves) where the guys talked about their shoes. But the guy I saw clearly is not used to talking about fashion items, and the woman interviewing him didn’t seem good at it, either. So why bother?

    But what made the whole thing inane is that it was entirely clear that nobody really cares about the ESPYs. Whether or not you think the Oscars make sense or find them enjoyable, they have meaning within the movie industry. Look at Lupita Nyong’o, who became well-known during the run-up to winning an Academy Award for her charm and style, as well as her talent. The event and its predecessors had weight for her career.

    The ESPYs have no such weight. What matters (rightly) for athletes is winning. Winning at Wimbledon or the Super Bowl or the Olympics. A World Series ring matters, and is the equivalent of an Oscar for a baseball player in the way that an ESPY clearly is not. So sitting through an awards show, with all of its admitted tedium, without any investment in the outcome is only going to be painful. And it showed in that audience, comprising a large group of people whose career successes are measured in venues wholly separate from the theater they were filling. Why they bother showing up I cannot begin to comprehend.

    Awards shows are about glamour and entertainment and self-congratulation. I love them, but I totally get why many people find them terrible. Sports are about an entirely different set of values, and when the ESPYs tries to celebrate them it comes off more like an inspirational rally than what it pretends to be.

    I cannot fathom how this thing has stuck around for as long as it has. It’s wretched.

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    • You know what would make the athletes care? If the awards were for things like Best Dressed, Best Celebration, Best Press Conference, Best Pre-Game Handshake Routine. THAT is the shit they care about. Dwyane Wade travels with a fishin’ personal stylist, for crying out loud.

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    • Awards shows are about glamour and entertainment and self-congratulation.

      So undoubtedly, the reason the ESPYs seem so pale and hollow and soulless is because athletes provide so much glamour and entertainment and self-congratulation out on the field when they do what they do.

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  4. I can clarify since for some reason seems to have been reluctant to opine here/

    Maria Sharapova is, in fact, hot-hot, not just sports-hot. Skylar Diggins is sports-hot. Danica Patrick is somewhere in between those two. Alsotoo: Cameron Diaz > Jessica Alba, especially Jessica Alba in Reynolds Wrap.

    I cannot imagine how you guys thought that the ESPYs would possibly be good television. Which makes for a fun transcript.

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    • Well, I was asking about those particular ones because I can’t really tell. Sharapova seems genuinely pretty, but her height throws me a bit. Danica sometimes looks very pretty and sometimes not. I can’t figure her out.

      My preference for Alba probably says more about my “type”. I don’t really go for blondes. I prefer a darker complexion. And I just find her stunningly beautiful.

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      • Diaz seems like someone it would be fun to just hang out with, while Alba project little to no personality. But looks-wise there’s no comparison. Diaz is very pretty. Alba is gorgeous.

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    • Maria Sharapova is, in fact, hot-hot, not just sports-hot.

      I don’t see it. She has an unattractive face.

      To me, her countrywoman Anna Kournikova was the one who was hot-hot. A close second is Caroline Wozniacki, who is Danish by nationality but Polish by ethnicity.

      Danica Patrick is somewhere in between those two.

      If I saw Danica Patrick walking on the street, I wouldn’t even look twice at her. She is the epitome of sports-hot, since is the only female in her sport. As long as she wasn’t hideous, she would be treated as if she was hot. And if she WAS hideous, she wouldn’t have been given the opportunites she has been given.

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  5. I wonder if Kazzy and Russell knew this, but the first player ever taken in the first ever true NBA draft was Cazzie Russell in 1966 by the New York Knicks.

    Russell, along with Chris Webber, are probably the greatest basketball players in UMichigan history.

    Seeing their dialogue reminded me of him.

    Also, anyone who would voluntarily watch the ESPYs deserves whatever he has coming to him. They are Exhibit A in the case of Why People Hate ESPN.

    I love sports, and I watch the Emmys every years so I have no problems with awards shows per se. However, the ESPYs are pointless. The leagues already give out individual awards, and teams win championships on the field.

    And we get it. Jim Valvano died, he was courageous, yadda, yadda, yadda. Can we move on? kthxbai

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  6. All the ESPYs hate. There are people who love the ESPYs, a lot of them, and the absurdity of it all is part of why they do.

    Also, athletes at that level have been going to multiple year-end award ceremonies since they were in 4th grade. It’s part of the life and part of the culture. The ESPYs just try to make it into a fun spectacle. And it’s where they fail to do so, as much as where they succeed, that gets people to watch.

    It’s also a hot ticket. Getting an invite means you’ve made it.

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    • LOL… my favorite picture was one of Marshawn Lynch texting or playing Flappy Bird or something (it almost looked like he was sleeping) in the middle of the show. And Li’l Wayne, (who was sitting behind John Calipari so I saw a lot of photos of him, the next day) definitely looked like he was in pain.

      But for the most part I think people try to have fun, and ultimately fail, like most people at pretty much any long, mostly masturbatory but not terribly formal ceremony.

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