I cried through the ESPYS

Sidelines & Overtimes is where I like to share sports moments that illustrate why I love sports. The moments where the score can take a backseat and where overcoming obstacles or working as a team take center stage. As Robin Roberts said, “It’s not so much what we accomplish but what we overcome.” Thats what I love the most about sports. And there was definitely no shortage of those moments at ESPN’s 20th annual ESPYS.

When I got chills watching the opening highlights, I knew it was going to be an emotional show. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In case you missed it, here are some of my favorite tear-jerking moments from the 2013 ESPYS.


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Talk about a role model. Robin Roberts received the Arthur Ashe Award for her courage and perseverance in her professional and personal life. Not only was Roberts a groundbreaking African-American female sports broadcaster, but she later battled breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which required a bone marrow transplant from her sister. She faced these challenges, and bravely did so publicly in the hope that telling her story would give strength to others. Definitely didn’t make it through her story without tearing up. And if that didn’t get you, take a look at her acceptance speech.


Several months ago, I saw the clip of Jack Hoffman scoring a touchdown at the Nebraska 2013 spring game. What a moment for a kid, especially one fighting brain cancer, which is why he won Best Moment at the ESPYS. I seriously can’t watch without tearing up.


At the first ESPY awards in 1993, Jim Valvano, head coach of the 1983 national champion NC State Wolf Pack and broadcaster, gave this speech which still stands as one of the greatest. It’s more than just about sports, but about life and living each day to its maximum potential.

Since this year was the 20th anniversary of the speech, ESPN gave a touching tribute and (one of my favorite Tar Heels) Stuart Scott, who is currently battling cancer, spoke on how The V Foundation for Cancer Research has grown since then.


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I couldn’t help but get emotional when I heard the Hoyt’s story. Dick Hoyt has been racing with his son Rick for 34 years. Rick was born with a severe form of cerebral palsy, but neither he nor his father would let his disability keep him from living his life. In 1981, the two ran their first Boston Marathon. Every year since then, the two have crossed the finish line — together. The city of Boston even unveiled a monument at the starting line this past April, honoring their teamwork. The Hoyt’s planned that this would be their last Boston Marathon, but the tragic events of April 15, 2013 changed their minds and they decided they would run one more. The Hoyt’s were the well-deserving recipients of the 2013 Jimmy V Perseverance Award.

So with moments like that, it was quite the challenge to make it through the ESPYS with a dry eye. What were your favorite sports moments from the ESPYS? Or from the past year that should have been featured?


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