ESPY 2013 Winners: Athletes Who Were Snubbed by the Fans

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJuly 19, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 12:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim gestures as he talks with a teammate during batting practice prior to the game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 12, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Fan voting awards the most popular candidates instead of the most deserving. 

We've seen time and time again that when fans vote for all-star games and Pro Bowls, the right choice isn't always made, and with more than 30 ESPYs handed out on Wednesday night, it was bound to happen again. 

To be fair, the fans got most of the categories right.

LeBron James had a truly remarkable year, and when someone wins NBA MVP, finals MVP and Olympic gold in the span of 12 months, I'm pretty sure denying him "best male athlete" is against the law.

And who could ever deny that Jack Hoffman's tear-inducing touchdown run was easily the best moment? The devil, maybe?

Nevertheless, the fans still missed a few. Let's take a look at all the night's winners and then some of the most shocking snubs. 

 

Complete List of Winners:

Best Male AthleteLeBron James 
Best Female AthleteSerena Williams
Best Championship PerformanceLeBron James
Best Breakthrough AthleteColin Kaepernick
Best Record-Breaking PerformanceMichael Phelps
Best UpsetFlorida Gulf Coast over Georgetown 
Best GameHeat vs. Spurs Game 6
Best MomentJack Hoffman
Best PlayJadeveon Clowney's big hit
Best TeamMiami Heat
Best Coach/ManagerRick Pitino 
Best ComebackAdrian Peterson
Best International AthleteUsain Bolt 
Best NFL PlayerAdrian Peterson
Best MLB PlayerMiguel Cabrera
Best NHL PlayerSidney Crosby
Best DriverRyan Hunter-Reay
Best NBA PlayerLeBron James
Best WNBA PlayerCandace Parker 
Best FighterFloyd Mayweather Jr.  
Best Male GolferTiger Woods
Best Female GolferStacy Lewis
Best Male Tennis PlayerNovak Djokovic 
Best Female Tennis PlayerSerena Williams 
Best Male College AthleteJohnny Manziel
Best Female College AthleteBrittney Griner 
Best Male Action Sport AthleteNyjah Huston
Best Female Action Sport AthleteStephanie Gilmore
Best JockeyJoel Rosario
Best Male Athlete With A DisabilityJeremy Campbell
Best Female Athlete With A DisabilityJessica Long 
Best BowlerPete Weber 
Best MLS PlayerThierry Henry
Best Male U.S. Olympic AthleteMichael Phelps
Best Female U.S. Olympic AthleteMissy Franklin 

 

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Mike Trout

It could very easily be argued that Mike Trout's least notable accomplishment was American League Rookie of the Year. 

As a mere 20-year-old, Trout finished second in AL MVP voting, and it wasn't one of those years where he just benefited from a lack of viable candidates—he lost to Miguel Cabrera, who hit for the Triple Crown. 

Usually, when someone hits a milestone that hasn't been accomplished in 45 years, as the Detroit Tigers slugger did, it's going to make him the obvious choice for MVP. The mere fact that Trout was even in the conversation for the prestigious award should tell you how unbelievable his season was.

But the fact he earned 281 of the votes (to Cabrera's 362)? That should tell you that what he did was pretty much out of this world. 

In 139 games, Trout hit .326/.399/.564 with 30 home runs and 83 RBI while supplying spectacular defense in left and center field. He led the league in runs scored (129), stolen bases (49) and OPS+ (168). 

Oh, and he became the first player ever (you know, in a game that has been played for, like, a billion years) with 30 homers, 45 steals and 125 runs in a single season. It was easily one of the best individual seasons in all of sports this year, let alone from a breakthrough athlete. 

Colin Kaepernick, who won the award, was a vital part in the San Francisco 49ers making it to the Super Bowl. He deserves credit, but Trout, who did things that only seemed possible in video games, was on another level. 

 

Best Female Golfer: Inbee Park

Since last year's ESPYs, there have been four women's major golf tournaments. 

Inbee Park has won three of them.

After finishing second to Jiyai Shin at the Women's British Open in 2012 (slacker), Park has won every major in 2013. 

At the Kraft Nabisco Championship, she shot 15-under and won by four strokes. Stacy Lewis, the winner of the ESPY, finished 32nd. At the LPGA Championship, Park shot five-under and won in a playoff. Lewis finished 28th. At the Women's U.S. Open, Park shot eight-under and won by four strokes. Lewis finished 42nd. 

Lewis had a spectacular 2012, winning the LPGA Player of the Year. But Park, who actually led the LPGA in money earning in 2012, is having a storybook 2013 and is currently ranked No. 1 in the world by a large margin. 

She's playing like early-2000s Tiger Woods right now, and there's no one close to touching her. 

 

Best Fighter: Jon Jones

Is Floyd Mayweather the best pound-for-pound boxer of his generation? Absolutely.

But did he have the best last year? Not really even close. 

Not only did he win just one fight against a pretty overmatched Robert Guerrero, but as a matter of principle, I don't think an ESPY should be given to someone who spent part of the year in jail

Besides, if you're literally looking for the best "fighter," this award absolutely has to go to an MMA fighter, and with Anderson Silva losing earlier this month, Jon "Bones" Jones feels like the clear deserved winner.

When you think of a fighter, do you think of someone who just continually delivers punches, or someone who can deliver punches (Jones knocked out Chael Sonnen on elbows and punches) and do this?: 

This isn't a slight to Saul Alvarez or Danny Garcia or any boxer, but more a plea to separate this category into two: "best boxer" and "best fighter."