June 30, 2004
Cycling star Lance Armstrong will look to repeat as Best Male Athlete, while a new Best Female Athlete will be crowned at the 2004 ESPY Awards, televised from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on ESPN Sunday, July 18 at 9 p.m. ET (four days after taking place on Wednesday, July 14). Nominees were announced for all 36 categories, which for the first time will be voted on completely by fans. Voting has begun at www.espn.com and will continue through July 9. Winners will be announced on the telecast.
The 12th annual ESPY Awards Presented by GMC and Under Armour will gather sports and entertainment celebrities to recognize top achievements, relive memorable moments and salute the best performers. Actor/comedian Jamie Foxx will host. The awards include 19 cross-cutters categories -- which pit athletes from different sports against each other - as well as 17 individual sport categories.
Several cross-cutter candidates are related to some of the year's top champions and Best Team nominees: the Patriots, Marlins, Pistons, Lightning, UConn Men's and Women's Basketball.
Competing against Armstrong for Best Male Athlete are Barry Bonds, who Armstrong edged out last year, as well as Tom Brady, Kevin Garnett and Peyton Manning. For Best Female, tennis star Justine Henin-Hardenne may become the third straight tennis star to win the award (2002: Venus Williams, 2003: Serena Williams). She will compete against Annika Sorenstam and Diana Taurasi, who were both nominated in the category last year.
Also during the ESPY Awards, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. This year's honor will go to Liberian-born UNICEF Ambassador George Weah, Africa's all-time greatest soccer star who has, at great risk, worked tirelessly to help his war-torn country.
FUN FACTS ABOUT 2004 ESPY AWARD NOMINEESUConn vs. UConn: The University of Connecticut Men's and Women's Basketball teams are both nominated for Best Team, competing against the Detroit Pistons, Florida Marlins, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Lightning. In addition to her Best Female Athlete nomination, former UConn star Diana Taurasi is nominated for Best Female College Athlete, while coach Geno Auriemma is a finalist for Best Coach/Manager. Connecticut men's hoops star Emeka Okafor is among the nominees for Best Male College Athlete.
High School Hysteria: De La Salle High School football coach Bob Ladouceur, who led his team to a perfect season which was part of a 151-game winning streak, is a finalist for Best Coach/Manager, along with Auriemma, Bill Belichick (Patriots), Larry Brown (Pistons) and Jack McKeon (Marlins).
Green Jacket And An ESPY Award?: After winning his first Grand Slam title at the 2004 Masters, golfer Phil Mickelson garnered three ESPY Award nominations. In Best Championship Performance, he is nominated along with three team stars -- Josh Beckett (Marlins), Tom Brady (Patriots) and Brad Richards (Lightning). In Best Moment, Mickelson is competing with Aaron Boone's ALCS Game 7 home run, Brett Favre's courageous performance one day after his father passed away and Stanford's buzzer-beater against Arizona. Mickelson is also a finalist for Best Male Golfer.
New - Best Upset, Could It Be A Horse?: The new category, Best Upset, features individual and team nominees: Belmont winner Birdstone, boxer Antonio Tarver, the Detroit Pistons and the Florida Marlins.
Who Broke Through? Adu, Wie, LeBron, Carmelo or Jake?: Teenage soccer sensation Freddy Adu will compete for Best Breakthrough against teenage golf star Michelle Wie, return nominee LeBron James, Nuggets' star Carmelo Anthony and Panthers' QB Jake Delhomme.
The Game Of The Year: Best Game nominees range from a Little League World Series epic between Saugus, Mass. and Richmond, Tex. to the Patriots-Panthers Super Bowl to ALCS Game 7 (Red Sox/Yankees) to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament classic between St. Joseph's and Oklahoma State.
Reel Classic: Best Sports Movie returns for its third year and the nominated films depict a wide range of genres: Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius, DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, Miracle, Radio and Seabiscuit.
Amazing Comebacks: Teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton, a victim of a shark attack, is one of four amazing comeback stories nominated in Best Comeback. Other candidates are golfer John Daly, who captured his first PGA title in nearly a decade, and two college football players - San Jose State's Neil Parry and Oklahoma's Jason White.
Individual Sport Repeats?: Of the 17 individual sport categories, more than half of last year's winners are nominated again. The following nine winners are looking to repeat: Barry Bonds (MLB), Tim Duncan (NBA), Lisa Leslie (WNBA), Walter Ray Williams Jr. (Bowler), Annika Sorenstam (Female Golfer), Tiger Woods (Male Golfer), Serena Williams (Female Tennis), Andre Agassi (Male Tennis) and Gail Devers (Female Track and Field).
Link to Best Moment: Vote Here
Link to Best Female College Athlete: Vote Here
Link to Best Male Golfer: Vote Here
Link to Nominee Index: Vote Here
Link to ESPY Index: Vote Here