Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was awarded the ESPY for best comeback athlete tonight at ESPN's ceremony in Los Angeles.
The quarterback passed for over 5,000 yards and started in every regular-season game (and the franchise's first playoff game in over a decade) after suffering major injuries in his first two seasons in the NFL.
Stafford, who was escorted to the awards by his girlfriend, Kelly Hall, thanked his teammates as he accepted the award. He also said he was happy to share the award with the city of Detroit, which "is on a comeback of its own."
Also up for awards tonight were Stafford's teammate Calvin Johnson, for best NFL player (won by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers) and Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, for best male athlete (won by Miami Heat star LeBron James) and best MLB player (won by Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton).
Two other athletes from west Michigan were nominees: Grand Rapids' Floyd Mayweather Jr. won best fighter and Kalamazoo's Derek Jeter was up for best moment for his 3,000th hit last season. But the latter category was won by Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas for their touchdown in the playoffs for Denver.
Michigan State's Hail Mary pass to beat Wisconsin last fall was up for Best Play, but it lost to Christian Watford's buzzer-beating basket in Indiana's win over Kentucky.
List of winners
Comeback: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Fighter: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Male Athlete: LeBron James, Miami Heat
Female Athlete: Brittney Griner, Baylor basketball
Team: Miami Heat
Coach-Manager: Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
Breakthrough Athlete: Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks
Game: San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints
Record-breaking Performance: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Championship Performance: LeBron James, Miami Heat
Play: Christian Watford's buzzer-beating basket in Indiana's win over Kentucky
Moment: Tim Tebow pass to Demaryius Thomas, AFC wild-card game
Upset: Los Angeles Kings win Stanley Cup as eighth seed
Male College Athlete: Robert Griffin III, Baylor football
Female College Athlete: Brittney Griner, Baylor basketball
Male Action Sport Athlete: Shaun White, skateboarding-snowboading
Female Action Sport Athlete: Jamie Anderson, snowboarding
Baseball Player: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
NBA Player: LeBron James, Miami Heat
WNBA Player: Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
NHL Player: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
MLS Player: David Beckham, Los Angeles Galaxy
Bowler: Sean Rash
Driver: Tony Stewart
Male Golfer: Bubba Watson
Female Golfer: Christie Kerr
Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic
Female Tennis Player: Maria Sharapova
Track and Field Athlete: Walter Dix
International athlete: Lionel Messi
Male Athlete with a Disability: Kyle Maynard, climbing
Female Athlete with a Disability: Jessica Long, swimming
College Athletic Program: Stanford women's athletics and Florida men's athletics
Arthur Ashe Courage Award: Pat Summitt
Jimmy V ESPY for Perseverance: Eric LeGrand