New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was the big winner at Wednesday night’s (July 14) 2010 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, winning honors in four categories including Male Athlete of the Year.
Brees beat out other major athletes for the big award, including Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Jimmie Johnson and Albert Pujols.
He also took home ESPY trophies for Best Championship Performance, Best NFL player and shared the Team Award with his Super Bowl champion teammates.
“I’d also like to thank the Who Dat nation,” Brees said during his acceptance speech. “We love you.”
As for Female Athlete of the Year, that honor went to gold medal-winning skier Lindsey Vonn, who beat out Serena Williams and basketball players Maya Moore of Connecticut and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury to take the trophy.
She also took home Best Female U.S. Olympian.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson took home honors for Best Coach, while his star player Kobe Bryant won Best NBA Player.
Lebron James didn’t take home any awards, nor did he attend. It was probably a good move, because when James’ image was shown during a montage of male athlete nominees, the crowd booed.
Lebron got made fun of a bit too. Actors Steve Carell and Paul Rudd spoofed James’ hourlong “Decision” special on ESPN in a pre-taped bit that ended with Carell announcing he had chosen to eat dinner at Outback instead of his longtime haunt Chili’s.
And “Saturday Night Live” comic Seth Meyers who served as the show’s host also threw in a jab when he ended the show saying: “Stay tuned to ESPN for an encore presentation of LeBron James’ ‘The Decision.'”
Pro-golder Phil Mickelson took home the award for Best Male Golfer, ending Tiger Woods’ five-year run as the winner and what would’ve been Woods’ 23rd career ESPY.
Even though he didn’t win, Woods was worked into the show thanks to some jokes via Meyers. He worked in various jokes poking fun at the superstar golfer’s much talked about sex scandal
“We all know which free agent is making the most money this summer — Elin Nordegren,” he said, referring to the golfer’s estranged wife.
“Everyone, give it up for Tiger Woods, if you haven’t already,” Meyers added later.
Other winners during the evening included:
- Snowboarder Shaun White who was named Best Male Olympic Athlete for his gold medal, as well as Best Action Sports Star.
- Running back Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans was named Best Breakthrough Athlete after rushing for more than 2,500 yards this past season.
- Quarterback Brett Favre and receiver Greg Lewis of the Minnesota Vikings received the award for Best Play, for a passing play that resulted in a touchdown when Favre tossed the ball under pressure and Lewis caught it at the end of the game early last season.
- Best Upset Victory went to the men’s basketball team from the University of Northern Iowa for its surprise win over the University of Kansas in the NCAA championship tournament.