ESPY Awards to Take Place Tonight, Honoring Sports Performances

Five months after the team’s come-from-behind Super Bowl victory, the New England Patriots could have a big night in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday evening at the 25th annual ESPY Awards, honoring the best sports performances and achievements of the past year.

The Patriots could have their hand in as many as five awards, with nominations including best championship performance and best NFL player for quarterback Tom Brady, best game for the Super Bowl win and best overall team.

The World Series champion Chicago Cubs are also competing for a host of awards, including best team, best male athlete and MLB player for Kris Bryant and best game for clinching a World Series win over the Cleveland Indians.

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The ESPY Awards will bring together a who’s-who of the sporting world’s elite, filling a television gap on one of the rare days of the year on which no major professional sporting events are being held. Two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning will host the ceremony at the Microsoft Theater.

During the ceremony, former first lady Michelle Obama will posthumously honor Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics.

“Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a passionate champion for those with developmental challenges, empowering them to fulfill their highest potential,” Obama said in a statement released by the ESPYs. “Her work to promote inclusion and acceptance transformed the lives of countless young athletes and inspired us all.”

Obama will present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Shriver’s son, Timothy, the chairman of Special Olympics. The Arthur Ashe award is presented to someone “whose contributions transcend sports,” with past recipients including Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell and Jim Valvano.

Retired Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully will be presented with the Icon Award, which honors people who “have left a lasting impression on the sports world.” Scully, who retired at the end of last season after 67 years behind the mic, will be presented the award by actor Bryan Cranston.

Other dignitaries expected to serve as presenters during the show include retired ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, Samuel L. Jackson, Eddie George, Danica Patrick and Jeremy Renner.

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