At the ESPYs the New Orleans Saints extended their winning streak and their time in the national sports limelight. Historically, the Saints have been synonymous with losing and spent little time grabbing national headlines. Now, they are leading the NFL in jersey sales and taking home four ESPYs.
The Saints were nominated in six categories at the Worldwide Leader’s annual award show. So let’s break down the results.
- New Orleans Saints Super Bowl
- Phil Mickelson wins Masters for wife
- Joannie Rochette’s Olympic skate
- U.S. Soccer v. Algeria – Donovan’s goal
And the ESPY goes to… The United States Soccer Team. Yes, I understand the nation was excited and it was a great moment for U.S. Soccer. But I believe the award for Best Moment should be judged by “bar reaction video.” Frankly the footage of bars celebrating the World Cup goal looks like an average Tuesday afternoon on Bourbon Street compared to the eruption of emotion that was associated with the Saints’ Super Bowl victory. Oh well. At least the U.S. Soccer team won something this year.
Best Male Athlete
- Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
- Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
- LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
- Albert Pujols, MLB
And the ESPY goes to… Drew Brees. I had this one pegged as a lock from the beginning. I was a little worried about Jimmy Johnson since NASCAR is the biggest spectator sport in America. Then I realized that 35% of NASCAR fans probably couldn’t figure out how to vote. Brees gave a classy speech recognizing his offensive line and the Who Dat Nation. He continues to be a great front-man for the Saints during their time in the national spotlight.
- New Orleans Saints
- Alabama football
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Connecticut women’s basketball
- Los Angeles Lakers
- New York Yankees
And the ESPY goes to… The New Orleans Saints. The team had a good turnout. There were sixteen players on stage to accept the award. I doubt this one was even close. There really was no other team that captivated the nation over the past year like the New Orleans Saints.
Best Championship Performance
- Drew Brees, Super Bowl XLIV
- Anthony Johnson, Big Sky Conference Championship
- Michael Phelps, World Swimming Championships
- Shaun White, Winter Olympics
And the ESPY goes to… Drew Brees. With a fantastic performance, on the biggest stage Brees deserved this award. This award makes Drew Brees two for two on his individual nominations. Or as we say around here…Two Dat.
Best NFL Player
- Drew Brees, New Orleans
- Brett Favre, Minnesota
- Chris Johnson, Tennessee
- Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
- Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
- Charles Woodson, Green Bay
And the ESPY goes to… Drew Brees. I believe that simple logic should make this one obvious. Brees was the Best Male Athlete; clearly he must also be the best NFL player. This makes Brees three for three and the most decorated athlete at this year’s ESPYS.
- Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
- Geno Auriemma, Connecticut women’s basketball
- Joe Girardi, N.Y. Yankees
- Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers
- Mike Krzyzewski, Duke men’s basketball
- Nick Saban, Alabama football
And the ESPY goes to… Phil Jackson from the Los Angeles Lakers. I believe a strong case can be made for Sean Payton in this category. Jackson did win his 11th championship this season with the Lakers but, this is not a lifetime achievement award. Sean Payton’s onside kick call in the Super Bowl should have won this award for him by itself. Oh well, maybe he can get Tracy Porter to intercept this trophy too.
In the end, the Saints won four of the six awards they were nominated for and stole the show in Los Angeles. It appears that the nation’s love affair with Saints is not quite over.