Tracy Morgan was tapped with hosting the 2019 ESPY Awards. The most important part of being a host, is obviously the monologue, how you did as a host will likely depend solely, or in large part, to how you do on the monologue.
Twitter had mixed reviews about Tracy’s monologue, some felt it was cringeworthy, while some thought it was inspiring that he was able to now joke about his near death experience four years ago.
Tracy and his comeback wasn’t the biggest storyline of the night, that was reserved for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions.
Just hours after being celebrated in New York City with a victory parade, the women took a cross country flight to rightfully accept their awards. In superstar fashion, the team showed up fashionably late as they didn’t arrive until just after the start of the program.
Alex Morgan, forward for the Orlando Pride, and co-captain for the United State Women’s National Soccer Team was named Female Athlete of the Year. During her acceptance speech she joked with the crowd saying “Sorry, but this is the second best trophy we won this week.”
Of course she was referring to the USA defeating the Netherlands in the World Cup Final earlier this week by a score of 2-0.
After Alex took home the most important individual trophy for women, it was her teams turn. Later in the night, one of the most sought after awards, Best Team for 2019, was announced to be the USWNT which just won the World Cup on Sunday.
To be fair, there is probably some recency bias going on with the voting here, but even without the recency bias this team has a solid case. They just won the biggest tournament in the biggest sport!
The ESPY always has the time when honorees receive recognition for their courage, bravery, and perseverance. This section in the ESPY Awards is the platform in which possibly one of the greatest sports related speeches was delivered. That is the speech of the late great Jim Valvano. His moment, speech, and impact were so great, that he now has an award named after him, it’s given to a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination.
This year the Jimmy V Award went to, Rob Mendez. Mendez is a football coach who was born with no arms, and no legs, his speech touched on his story of how he persevered despite having no limbs, these speeches usually pull at the strings of your heart, and this year was no different.
“If there’s any message I want to give you guys tonight is … when you focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do, you really can go places in this world.” Rob Mendez
Bill Russell also received the Arthur Ashe award, which is given to someone possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs.