Next month, the ESPY Awards will proceed as scheduled, but obviously in a virtual setting.
It was announced on Tuesday that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, US soccer icon Megan Rapinoe, and Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird will be the co-hosts of the 2020 edition. The release also says that Wilson’s wife and recording starCiara is expected to make an appearance on the program.
Usually, the ESPYs are hosted by a famous athlete with a monologue that flops spectacularly (unless you’re Peyton Manning or LeBron James), or a comedian/actor whose opening monologue flops spectacularly.
Seattle sports will be represented extremely well by this trio. Wilson is one of the greatest players in Seahawks history and frankly I don’t really need to tell you his laundry list of individual and team accomplishments, but I’ll remind everyone that on February 2nd, 2014 the Seattle Seahawks won the damn Super Bowl. Bird has starred in the WNBA since she was drafted by the Storm in 2002, bringing the city three championships, not to mention four Olympic gold medals for the United States. As for Sue’s partner Rapinoe, she’s spearheaded back-to-back FIFA Women’s World Cup triumphs for the USA, and also won Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games. She’s been with OL Reign (formerly Seattle Reign FC) since 2013, and an NWSL title is one of the few achievements that’s eluded her throughout her illustrious career.
Normally the ESPYs are about celebrating and reliving some memorable sporting achievements over the past year, but as part of the tweaks to this year’s format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the show is celebrating heroism and humanitarian aid.” Among the awards that will be presented are The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service, the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award, and the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.
As with virtually all award shows, you normally see comedy and music mixed into the program. That won’t go away this year, although apparently the traditional monologue of joking about controversies, athletes, and teams will be tweaked for obvious reasons.
You can catch the 2020 ESPY Awards on ESPN on Sunday, June 21st at a time TBD.