Are you watching the ESPY Awards tonight?

I'm not sure if the ESPY Awards are more like the Oscars or the MTV Movie Awards, but I'm definitely leaning toward the latter. At this point I feel we've reached saturation on sheer number of sports awards purely because every major league already have scores of ways to recognize players in their own way. I just don't know if there's room for an overarching awards ceremony trying to recognize everyone, because it leads to situations like tonight where the 'Best Male Athlete' award could go to NASCAR's Jimmy Johnson, the NBA's Dirk Nowitzki or Aaron Rodgers... how does one determine that? 

Despite these misgivings I'll admit that my interests are peaked at ESPN's red headed stepchild of an award show tonight solely because of Cam Newton. I fully embrace the shallowness of this decision, but in the immortal words of John Fox "It is what it is". Cam is a lightning rod and the ESPY's are yet another way to bring attention to both Cam as a player, and to the Carolina Panthers. It seems impossible that he wont win at least one award, even after being snubbed in the SEC awards. After the jump we'll check out the ESPY's Cam is nominated for, and I'll give my chance he walks away with the trophy.

Best Breakthrough Athlete

Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Li Na, Tennis
Cam Newton, Auburn Tigers

- I'd like to think Newton deserves this award, but realistically this is some stiff competition. Even as a Heisman trophy winner I think it will take a lot to beat out both Arian Foster AND Jose Bautista. 

Chance of winning: 30%

 

Best Male College Athlete

Jimmer Fredette, BYU Basketball
Andy Miele, Miami-Ohio Hockey
Cam Newton, Auburn Football
Rob Pannell, Cornell Lacrosse
Kemba Walker, Connecticut Basketball

- Okay, so Jimmer was a player who entranced the state of Utah, and peaked the curiosity of the rest of the country, new Charlotte Bobcat Kemba Walker captured the hearts of the nation in the NCAA tournament, but really this has to be Newton's award. Only one of these players put forth the kind of season that will be remembered in the annals of sports' history, and that's Newton and his 50 TDs.

Chance of winning: 85%

 

Best Game

Auburn beats Alabama, Iron Bowl
Butler upsets Pittsburgh, NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
Eagles rally to beat the Giants, NFL
Oklahoma City edges Memphis in 3OT, NBA Playoffs

- Here the Auburn Tigers are nominated as a team, but this was the Cam show. Rallying his team from a near impossible deficit was an amazing achievement, and I think there's a fairly good chance it will either be the Tigers or the Eagles winning this one.

Chance of winning: 45%

 

Best Team

Auburn Football
Boston Bruins
Dallas Mavericks
Green Bay Packers
San Francisco Giants
Texas A&M Women's Basketball

- This one is going to be really hard for Newton to win. Ultimately there are just too many story lines in professional sports to award this to Auburn. Whether it's the Dallas Mavericks finally getting over the hump, the Bruins inciting a riot, the Packers battling injury or the Giants shocking the world, I just don't think Auburn have enough bullets in the chamber to win this one.

Chance of winning: 15%

 

You can watch the 2011 ESPY Awards at 9 PM ET on ESPN

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