And The ESPY Goes To… 

July 13, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

What a night in Los Angeles. The 2023 ESPY Awards condensed a year of the best highlights, moments, and athletic achievements into a three-hour ceremony. Patrick Mahomes got tired of the stairs. LeBron James put any retirement talks to rest. And Pat McAfee made us all laugh.

It\’s one of my favorite mid-week editions in the sports calendar. Let’s celebrate some people, shall we? And the ESPY goes to…

Letter Rip!


And The ESPY Goes To…

Screenshot via YouTube

Patrick Mahomes & Lionel Messi Take Haul of Awards in Entertaining 2023 ESPY Awards Ceremony

The ESPY awards is that signifying summer moment that turns the page from one sports year to the next. We, The Sportsletter Team, often look to the ESPYs as the seasonal bookmark, and it helps reminds us of last season\’s top performers and stories (like a time capsule of everything we\’ve written about). With the pegged host, comedian Kevin Hart, joining the Hollywood writer’s strike, ESPN turned to an always-entertaining backup as Pat McAfee delivered the opening monologue. There were plenty of jokes from my guy, Pat (I\’ve met him a few times in my sports media shoulder-brushings). More importantly than comedy, there was this:

“Sports are the greatest thing in the world. Sports are amazing. In a world that is seemingly divided by everything, if you go to any stadium, arena, locker room, you will see people from all different backgrounds, socioeconomic classes, races, religions, differing of opinions, all uniting for one thing.” — Pat McAfee

By night’s end, two athletes secured multiple awards — Patrick Mahomes and Lionel Messi. Messi wasn’t in attendance (he\’s in Miami preparing for his Inter Miami unveiling this weekend), but it was a Mahomes-driven night. The show also featured skier Mikaela Shiffrin as the best female athlete and moving tributes for the sportsmanship award winners (videos below).

The Big Takeaway: With a blend of heart-warming features and intermittent comedy, the three-hour ceremony was one of the most entertaining ESPYs in recent memories. Here’s a look at the full list of winners, from performances to sportsmanship.

Top ESPY Award Winners

Best Male Athlete: Patrick Mahomes (NFL)

Best Female Athlete: Mikaela Shiffrin (Skiing)

Best Team: Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)

Performance-Based ESPY Awards

Record-Breaking: LeBron James (NBA Points Record)

Championship: Lionel Messi (World Cup Final)

Best Play: Justin Jefferson\’s Catch (NFL)

Male College Athlete: Caleb Williams (USC FB)

Female College Athlete: Caitlin Clark (Iowa WBB)

Comeback Athlete: Jamal Murray (Nuggets)

Breakthrough Athlete: Angel Reese (LSU WBB)

Best NBA Player: Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)

Best NFL Player: Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs)

Best MLB Player: Shohei Ohtani (Angels)

Best Soccer Player: Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Best NHL Player: Connor McDavid (Oilers)

Best Golfer: Scottie Scheffler

Best Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic

Best WNBA Player: A’ja Wilson (Aces)

Best MMA Fighter: Jon Jones

Best Driver: Max Verstappen (F1)

Best Boxer: Claressa Shields

Sportsmanship ESPY Awards

Jimmy V (Perseverance): Liam Hendriks (MLB)

Arthur Ashe (Courage): U.S. Women’s National Team (Soccer)

Pat Tillman (Service): Buffalo Bills Medical Staff

Muhammad Ali (Humanitarian): Jrue & Lauren Holiday

Read More

USA Today: 2023 Award Winners, Top Moments & More From ESPN Award Show

Sporting News: Results, Highlights & Best Moments From the ESPYs

Yahoo! Sports: LeBron James Ends All Doubt About Retirement With ESPY Speech

B/R: Best Fan Tweets & Memes to Pat McAfee’s Opening Speech at 2023 ESPYs



End of the Road for Eubanks

Photo: Glyn Kirk / Getty Images

#3 Medvedev Ends Eubanks’ Storybook Run; #6 Jabeur Gets Revenge on #3 Rybakina in Wimbledon Quarterfinals

An incredible run for American Christopher Eubanks has come to an end at Wimbledon. Eubanks pulled off multiple upsets en route to the quarterfinals at the All-England Club before pushing #3 Daniil Medvedev to five sets, but Medvedev got the last laugh. Meanwhile, #1 Carlos Alcaraz ran the table on #6 Holger Rune in straight sets. #2 Aryna Sabalenka struck down #25 Madison Keys to improve to 6-0 in major quarterfinals, and #6 Ons Jabeur battled back from a first-set loss to beat #3 Elena Rybakina and get revenge for last year’s finals match. Our eight semifinalists are set (four men, four women) with the women’s semis on the way this morning.

Women’s Singles Highlights (Quarterfinals)

#2 A. Sabalenka def. #25 M. Keys (6-2, 6-4)

#6 O. Jabeur def. #3 E. Rybakina (6-7, 6-4, 6-1)

Men’s Singles Highlights (Quarterfinals)

#1 C. Alcaraz def. #6 H. Rune (7-6, 6-4, 6-4)

#3 D. Medvedev def. C. Eubanks (6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-1)

Today’s Schedule (Women’s Semifinals)

E. Svitolina vs. M. Vondrousova (8:30 am ET)

#2 A. Sabalenka vs. #6 O. Jabeur (9:45 am ET)

Men’s Semifinals: Friday

Read More

Guardian: Sabalenka Powers Past Keys to Set Up Semi-Final With Jabeur

Yahoo! Sports: Alcaraz Stays On Course for Djokovic Wimbledon Showdown



Gold Cup Crushers

Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Panama Strikes Down U.S. Men\’s National Team With Penalty Kicks (1-1, 5-4 PKs) in Gold Cup Semifinal

Down and out! The U.S. Men’s National Team lost to Panama in the Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal Wednesday night in San Diego (1-1, 5-4 PKs). In a match riddled with mistakes, blown chances and offsides goal reversals, the U.S. still had a crack to get through before a penalty-kick letdown. It took the U.S. an extra-time equalizer from Jesus Ferreira (105’) — a sensational volley — to force PKs. Panama knocked through five out of six strikes from the spot, concluding with Adalberto Carrasqulla’s perfectly-placed dagger. Panama fired more shots on goal (5-3) and held more possession (56%-44%) as they outclassed the U.S. to reach the finals. On the other side, Mexico blanked Jamaica (3-0) to set up a Mexico-Panama finale on Sunday.

Gold Cup Semifinal Highlights

Panama def. USA (1-1, 5-4 PKs)

Mexico def. Jamaica (3-0)

Gold Cup Final

Mexico vs. Panama (Sun. 7:30 pm ET)

Read More

MLS: USMNT Player Ratings: Panama Deal Shocking Gold Cup Exit

B/R: USMNT Loss to Panama Stuns Fans After Penalty-Kick Flop in Gold Cup Semis



 Tour de France

Jasper Philipsen Captures 4th Sprint Win in Stage 11


Dream Win 6th Straight by Stifling Storm (85-75)

Natasha Howard Notches 28 in Wings’ 40-Point Blowout Against Lynx (107-67)

Sabrina Ionescu (34 pts) Leads Liberty to 4th Straight Over Fever (95-87, OT)



 Offseason Moves That Won’t Age Well

A plethora of NBA offseason moves may look good on paper right now, but we’ll look back in three years to find out which contracts didn’t age well. (Bleacher Report)

 Ohtani’s Blank Check is Coming

Baseball’s brightest star is half a season away from a blank uniform and a blank check. All eyes at the MLB All-Star Game were on him. So what’s next? (Yahoo! Sports)

 Jets Picked for ‘Hard Knocks’

It’s official. HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ is heading to New York. Get ready to see even more of Aaron Rodgers prior to his Jets debut. (FOX Sports)





Today\’s Must-Watch List

Wimbledon (Women’s Semifinals)

W: E. Svitolina vs. M. Vondrousova (8:30 am ET)

W: #2 A. Sabalenka vs. #6 O. Jabeur (9:45 am ET)

Men’s Semifinals: Friday

Tour de France

Stage 12: Roanne → Belleville-en-Beaujolais (6:55 am ET)

Download The Sportsletter\’s Must-Watch Calendar