Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lions QB Matthew Stafford wins ESPY for best comeback

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

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