ESPY facts and history

What are the ESPY's?
The ESPY Awards were created by ESPN in 1993 and are given for Excellence in Sports Performance.

Where can I see it?
The ESPYs are aired on ESPN on Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. ET.

Ricky Williams
Ricky Williams picked up the Outstanding College Football Performer of the Year award at the 1999 ESPY's.
Where is it?
The 2001 ESPY Awards will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the same site as in 2000. The venue for the ESPYs was The Paramount at Madison Square Garden (1993-94) and Radio City Music Hall (1995-99).

Who votes for the awards?
A blue-ribbon panel of sports executives, journalists and retired athletes comprise the ESPY Select Nominating Committee. The SNC plays a role in the selection process, as detailed below.

What awards are given?

  • Performer-of-the-Year in 19 sports. The nominees are chosen by the ESPY Select Nominating Committee and the winner is decided by the ESPY Finalist Committee made up of top athletes and ESPN/ABC personnel.
  • Nine "cross-cutter" categories with entries from any sport (male/female athlete of the year, coach of the year, comeback athlete of the year, etc.). Nominees are chosen by the SNC and select members of the media. Winners are determined by the ESPY Finalist Committee.

    What's special about the ESPY's?

  • No other award brings together all of sport, honoring the best performances, most memorable moments and, with the presentation of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, those whose courage and conviction transcend sport.
  • The ESPYs are distinguished by its charitable contribution, donating a portion of the proceeds to The V Foundation, established by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano and announced at the inaugural ESPYs.

    Who attends?
    Sports' biggest names and many top celebrities have taken part, including:

    Athletes and coaches who have attended or appeared via satellite:
    Michael Jordan, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Tiger Woods, Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr., Emmitt Smith, Steve Young, Monica Seles, Mark Messier, Barry Bonds, Grant Hill, Bonnie Blair, Brett Favre, George Foreman, Mario Lemieux, Hakeem Olajuwon, Jimmy Johnson, Steffi Graf, Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Jeff Gordon, Rebecca Lobo, Eric Lindros and Pete Sampras.

    Celebrities who have participated and/or performed include:
    David Letterman, Bill Cosby, Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Crystal, Bill Murray, Rosie O'Donnell, Jimmy Smits, Dennis Franz, Halle Berry, Hootie and the Blowfish, Alec Baldwin, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Robert Goulet, Joan Jett, Joe Pesci, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Rock, Vivaca A. Fox, Yasmine Bleeth, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Kim Alexis, Timothy Hutton, Janine Turner, Tony Bennett, George Wendt, and Robert Wuhl.

    Who has hosted?
    Past hosts include Dennis Miller (1993 and 1994), John Goodman (1995), Tony Danza (1996), Jeff Foxworthy (1997) and Norm Macdonald (1998), Samuel L. Jackson (1999) and Jimmy Smits (2000).

    What is the Arthur Ashe Award?
    The Arthur Ashe award is dedicated to those individuals whos courage and conviction transcend sport. Past recipients include: Jim Valvano (1993), Steve Palermo (1994), Howard Cosell (1995), Special Olympian Loretta Claiborne (1996), Muhammad Ali (1997), Dean Smith (1998), Billie Jean King (1999) and Dave Sanders (2000).

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