Barry Laminack: The 2018 ESPYs were actually good
I'm not really an awards show guy, but with nothing else on I decided to turn on the ESPYs while I worked on some other things on my computer. There were a few cheesy moments to be sure, but overall it wasn’t all that bad.
I give host Danica Patrick a 6.5783745 out of 10.
While it was cool to see the Astros get Team of the Year, there were a couple of poignant moments throughout the night that really stood out to me.
The first was the “Best Coach of the Year” Award. It wasn’t the usual suspects (no pun intended). Instead, the award was given to Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Chris Hixon, three coaches that were killed bravely trying to defend and save their students in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Florida back in February.
Secondly, I was really moved by Jim Kelly, winner of the 2018 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. The man has been through some stuff in his life, and still seems like such a positive person who has become a really positive and motivational influence on people.
Kelly opened his speech talking about his son, and boy did it get misty in my living room. He talked about persevering, and about the love and support that he has had throughout his life.
“So I just urge everybody out there, if you have somebody out there who is suffering, it doesn't have to be cancer, it could be somebody not having a good day. It could be your mom or your dad. It could be your grandparents. What you say to them, the smile that you have on your face, that could be the difference in them making it to the next day. Remember that." - Jim Kelly
It was all very moving.
But there was nothing more moving, powerful, or impactful than the final award of the night — the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The award went to all of the victims and survivors of Larry Nassar. 141 of the 333 victims stood on the stage to accept the award. 3 of them, former gymnast Sarah Klein (Nassar’s first victim), former Michigan State softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and former US Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, spoke — telling their story for the world to hear.
To see that many women on stage — all victims of 1 man (and a failed support system of adults) was eye-opening. All 3 of the speakers did an outstanding job, displaying composure, grace, and poise beyond what most of us possess.
The one quote that really hit me hard was when Aly Raisman said the following:
"All we needed was just 1 adult to have the integrity to stand between us and Larry Nasser."