Welcome to the ESPYs! You know, that awards show that happens on a Wednesday on ESPN? Yeah, they give out awards to athletes who are like “Thanks, but I totally have an actual championship ring back at home.”
I’ve personally never felt the need to watch the awards show, or as host Jon Hamm calls it “the world’s largest gathering of people wearing sunglasses indoors,” but the idea of missing the Mad Men star hosting was too risky to pass up. Those of you who’ve seen Hamm guest on 30 Rock or make a cameo in Bridesmaids knows that the man with immeasurable beauty can crack a joke or two, and tonight’s awards were no different. Showing no mercy, Hamm poked fun at Dwight Howard, the city of Detroit, and swimmer Ryan Lochte. Some examples of his killer lines: “Honestly, I’ve always been a little wary of the BCS system. I just feel like you can’t completely trust something just because a computer says it.” and “Manti Te’o — fake internet girlfriend or a real girlfriend who goes to Notre Dame? Pretty much the same amount of sex.” Boom. (Check out Hamm’s full monologue.)
We were off to a good start, and thankfully, the show very rarely lost its steam, thanks to some on-point sketches shown in between the awards. Here are the top 10 things that I took away from it:
10.) Wow, Jon Hamm looks good in a suit …
9.) But why is his voice so raspy?
8.) Athletes are sometimes painful to listen to. And for some reason, the ESPYs don’t implore the same rude orchestra that other awards shows like the Oscars use, so speeches go on, and on, and on, and on. Never have I been so uncomfortable as I was when Adrian Peterson thanked his mom, his dad, his trainer, the rehab, and even his private chefs.
7.) There’s a “Best Comeback” award? Why don’t we have that at the Oscars? That would get rid of all the “Wow, you really surprised us with this role, here’s an Oscar” statuettes and back to the “Oh wow, your performance is actually better than the others” awards.
6.) Sketches during awards shows can either spark or drown. Thankfully, Hamm had some very clever tricks up his sleeve. Saturday Night Live star Jay Pharaoh knocked his Jay-Z impression out of the park, while Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s “Great Start” idea was genius. Plus Bill Hader acting as Russian President Vladimir Putin and 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer as one of the substitute NFL refs? You can’t go wrong.
5.) What is Paula Patton on? There’s no doubt that she’s incredibly talented and beautiful, but she looked like she was going to smile her way out of her body. Maybe she’s happy that her husband has the song of the summer? Someone give this woman a Tolstoy novel, stat.
4.) Girl power! Maria Sharapova towered over fellow presenter Kevin Bacon while Tate Donovan (why are you here?) was caught in Kerri Walsh’s shadow.
3.) The kick-ass music. Fall Out Boy, Ellie Goulding, fun. — the ESPYs had the perfect amount of pump-up music mixed in with a little sadness for your evening cry.
2/1.) It’s a tie. Jack Hoffman, the young boy suffering from pediatric brain cancer, and the Hoyts, a father and son duo, both made me bawl. The Nebraska football team let Jack play with them, and the sight of those players hoisting Jack up after a touchdown? I can’t. And then there was the Hoyts, who for 37 years have run hundreds of races together, with the father pushing his cerebral palsy-stricken son the entire way. I-need-a-tissue.
Overall, the ESPYs were pretty fun, even though a lot of the references went right over my head. What did you think, PopWatchers? Is it worth tuning in next year?