ESPY Award Nominees 2013: Predicting the Winners of Toughest Categories

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2013

Ray Allen's season-saving three-pointer deserves to win the "Best Play" at the ESPY awards.
Ray Allen's season-saving three-pointer deserves to win the "Best Play" at the ESPY awards.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2013 ESPY awards will be announced on July 17, and the "Best Moment" is among the categories that will be tough to decide.

It's a fan vote, so the ESPY awards don't always go to the most deserving nominee. The picks are right the majority of the time, but there are still occasional upsets. 

Voting can be influenced by many things. Whether it's the most deserving nominee, fans voting for a popular player or a hometown pick, fans have their reasons as to why they made their picks.

While voting, it's important to not get caught up in what happened most recently.

Here's a look at some of the tougher categories and who should win.

Best Moment

This category has the best quality of competition, and it will be interesting to see how the fans vote.

There are several moments in this category that deserve recognition. From clutch goals to inspiring stories, there will be a lot intrigue in this category.

Andy Murray's Olympic win at Wimbledon won't even get proper recognition because of the tough competition in this category.

As the best moment in a game, Alex Morgan of the United States women's national soccer team had an incredible goal in the Olympic semifinal against Canada. Without her goal, the United States may not have advanced to the finals and won a gold medal.

Her header in the 123rd minute gave the Americans a 4-3 lead that decided the match. It was the latest to the list of dramatic goals by the USWNT. It's a worthy and historic moment, but it won't be the winner. 

It will come down to two moments: Chuck Pagano's return to the Indianapolis Colts and Jack Hoffman's appearance in Nebraska's spring game.

Pagano's battle with leukemia was a story to remember. He finally got a chance to be a head coach, but his diagnosis forced him to miss most of the season. 

Indianapolis rallied around its coach and was 10-5 when the coach returned to the sidelines. His team won the finale, which made the moment even better.

Seeing a coach have to go through so much puts everything in a different light. There's more to life than sports, and the Colts were behind their leader. Players and cheerleaders shaved their heads in support of Pagano.

Nebraska's football team made a boy's dream come true when it ran a play that will be tough to top.

Hoffman has battled brain cancer and recently went through his last round of chemotherapy.

The seven-year-old Hoffman came onto the field in a No. 22 jersey and made the play of a lifetime. He got the ball from quarterback Taylor Martinez and went 69 yards for the touchdown. As he reached the end zone, the Cornhuskers all ran to him and lifted him onto their shoulders.

Former Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead played a big part in the moment, and the Cornhuskers showed that dreams can come true. Hoffman battled through his fight with cancer, and he will be remembered as a fighter.

It's a tough category to decide, and there is no wrong pick.

Prediction: Jack Hoffman's touchdown at Nebraska's spring game

Best MLB Player

With all due respect to Buster Posey and the other candidates, this will come down to two players. The 2012 AL MVP came down to Miguel Cabrera and rookie Mike Trout.

There was a lot of debate as to who should've won that award, and it will be a tight vote this time around as well.

Miguel Cabrera was the first player to win the Triple Crown since 1967, and he could be on his way to repeating this feat.

He hit .330 with 44 home runs and 139 RBI in 2012. Most players who hit so many homers usually strike out a lot, but Cabrera struck out only 98 times.

It was a season worthy of the MVP. He led his team to playoffs and eventually the World Series. He didn't get another ring, but he was the most dominant player in baseball.

Trout spent most of the first month in the minors, but he was an incredible story.

His numbers were unreal. He hit .326 with 30 home runs and 83 RBI. He added 27 doubles, eight triples and 49 stolen bases. He led the league in steals as a rookie, and he was an incredible offensive player.

Cabrera is mainly an offensive player, but Trout was a terrific all-around player. He made highlight plays throughout the season, which is part of the reason he was able to work his way into the MVP talks.

The Los Angeles Angels struggled as a team in 2012, but Trout did everything he could to get his team to the playoffs.

Fans are more likely to vote for the more electrifying player, but the right choice is the best hitter in baseball.

Prediction: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Best Play

There are so many choices to choose from in this category that it's a guess at this point.

The best baseball play of the year was made by Ben Revere of the Philadelphia Phillies. 

He had to go a long way to even get to the ball, and then he made an incredible diving catch to rob Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier of an extra-base hit.

Not only did he make the incredible catch, but he got up to throw the ball in and complete the double play. Baseball plays aren't going to get the award, but Revere made a great play.

South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney made the football play of the year in the Outback Bowl.

The Gamecocks had been the victims of a blown call the play before, but Clowney made sure the refs couldn't give Michigan the ball.

He blazed through the offensive line and popped Wolverine running back Vincent Smith right as he got the ball. Clowney's hit not only forced a fumble, but it popped Smith's helmet off and sent the nation into a frenzy.

The hit put Clowney on the map as one of the top prospects in next year's NFL draft and will be a serious contender in this category.

Los Angeles is known for huge dunks. The Clippers have Blake Griffin, but DeAndre Jordan threw down one of the greatest dunks in recent memory.

Chris Paul gave Jordan a lob, and Jordan posterized the Detroit Pistons' Brandon Knight. Twitter went crazy after seeing the dunk.

It was one of those moments where everyone stopped what they were doing when they saw the dunk. Knight was doing his job by contesting the dunk, but he ended up on the wrong side of the highlight reel.

Jordan's dunk was a display of athleticism and strength. There aren't enough words to describe how great of a dunk it was.

Those three plays dominated the highlight reels for weeks, but Ray Allen's three-pointer to save the Miami Heat's season is the most recent big play.

The Heat were six seconds away from losing their second NBA Finals in three seasons, but Allen capped a furious rally with a clutch three-pointer. It came in a wild sequence of events, and Allen was able to keep his composure to show why Miami signed him.

Game 6 will go down as one the greatest games in Finals history, and it will be a game that will haunt San Antonio. The Spurs were so close to a championship that yellow ropes were being brought out in preparation for the celebration.

Instead, Allen hit the biggest shot of his career, and the Heat won in overtime. Miami went on to win Game 7, which puts this shot among the greatest in the history of the league.

It's the most recent play, which bodes well for Allen. It also had the biggest ramifications of any play in sports. Fans will remember it and realize how historic it was.

Clowney's hit was awesome. There's no doubt about it. However, Allen's three saved Miami's season and helped them win a championship.

Prediction: Ray Allen's three-pointer in Game 6

*For more information on the ESPY awards, check out the official website. All stats are courtesy of