In one of the great ironies of sports media, the ESPYs are becoming less and less about the actual physical ESPY award and more about the pomp and circumstance surrounding it.  And why wouldn’t it?  The ESPYs themselves have little tangible value as superfluous honors on top of what all of these athletes are actually trying to win.  Yes, it’s cool for the winner of Best Championship Performance to go on stage and meet Bradley Cooper or Chrissy Tiegen or whoever and get recognized for their efforts, but it’s kinda secondary to the actual winning of said championship, ya know?

And as we’ve seen in the last two years specifically, the real focus and main event of the evening is becoming the presentation of the special awards ESPN bestows, most notably the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.  Last year’s speech by Stuart Scott just before his death was one of the most moving moments you’ll ever see on television.  And of course, this year’s decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner with the Ashe Award has produced the predicted amounts of intrigue, debate, and eventually, ratings.  On top of that, ESPN will also present the Jimmy V Perseverance Award to Devon and Leah Still and the Pat Tillman Award for Service to Danielle Green.

But with all that being said, yes, ESPN still does hand out physical ESPYs in traditional categories that fans can vote on.  And for those of you wondering about the nominees for everything from Best Play to Best Game or Best Bowler to Best Action Sports Athlete, they’re all listed here for your convenience.

Best Male Athlete

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

JJ Watt, Houston Texans

Best Female Athlete

Ronda Rousey, MMA

Breanna Stewart, UConn Basketball

Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

Serena Williams, WTA

Best Championship Performance

American Pharoah, Race Horse

Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

Lauren Haeger, Florida Softball

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Best Breakthrough Athlete

Odell Beckham Jr, New York Giants

Mo’ne Davis, Little League Baseball

Cardale Jones, Ohio State Buckeyes

Jordan Spieth, PGA

Best Record-Breaking Performance

Lauren Chamberlain hits 91st home run in NCAA softball

Devin Hester takes punt in for 20th touchdown return

Peyton Manning throws record-509th touchdown pass

Klay Thompson scores 37 points in a single quarter

Best Upset

Georgia State over Baylor, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Kansas City Royals wins AL Pennant

Mississippi over Alabama, FBS

Best Game

A’s vs. Royals, MLB AL Wild Card

Spurs vs. Clippers Game 7, NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals

Patriots vs. Seahawks, Super Bowl

Best Play (bracket-style)

Odell Beckham catch vs. 16. Albany goalie lacrosse goal
Bahamas Bowl Hail Mary vs. 15. Dwayne Bravo cricket catch
Lionel Messi goal vs. 14. Jerian Grant dunk
Malcolm Butler INT vs. 13. Josh Sheehan triple back flip
Stephen Curry step back 3 vs. 12. Ameer Abdullah TD run
Ronda Rousey armbar vs. 11. Gerald Green dunk off the glass
Tyler Ennis goal vs. 10. Shoni Schimmel circus shot
Kevin Pillar catch vs. 9. Jeremy Menez goal

Best Coach/Manager

Geno Auriemma, UConn Huskies

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors

Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Blue Devils

Urban Meyer, Ohio State Buckeyes

Best Comeback Athlete

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

Best International Athlete

Novak Djokovic, ATP

Lewis Hamilton, Formula One

Lydia Ko, LPGA

Lionel Messi, Barcelona/Argentina

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid/Portugal

Best NFL Player

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

JJ Watt, Houston Texans

Best MLB Player

Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Best NHL Player

Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

John Tavares, New York Islanders

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Best Driver

Erica Enders-Stevens, NHRA

Lewis Hamilton, Formula One

Kevin Harvick, NASCAR

Juan Pablo Montoya, IndyCar

Will Power, IndyCar

Best NBA Player

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

James Harden, Houston Rockets

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Best WNBA Player

Skylar Diggins, Tulsa Shock

Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury

Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx

Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

Best Fighter

Donald Cerrone, MMA

Terence Crawford, Boxing

Gennady Golovkin (GGG), Boxing

Floyd Mayweather Jr, Boxing

Ronda Rousey, MMA

Best Male Golfer

Rory McIlroy

Jordan Spieth, Men’s Golf

Billy Horschel

Best Female Golfer

Lydia Ko

Stacy Lewis

Inbee Park

Best Male Tennis Player

Marin Cilic

Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer

Stan Wawrinka

Best Female Tennis Player

Simona Halep

Petra Kvitova

Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams

Best Male College Athlete

Jack Eichel, Boston University Hockey

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin Basketball

Marcus Mariota, Oregon Football

Logan Stieber, Ohio State Wrestling

Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt Baseball

Best Female College Athlete

Taylor Cummings, Maryland Lacrosse

Missy Franklin, Cal Swimming

Lauren Haeger, Florida Softball

Micha Hancock, Penn State Volleyball

Breanna Stewart, Connecticut Basketball

Best Male Action Sports Athlete

Ryan Dungey, Motocross

Tucker Hibbert, SnoCross

Nyjah Huston, Skateboarding

Mark McMorris, Snowboarding

Josh Sheehan, Freestyle Motocross

Best Female Action Sports Athlete

Paige Alms, Surfing

Kelly Clark, Snowboarding

Stephanie Gilmore, Surfing

Laia Sanz, Enduro/motorbike

Best Jockey

Javier Castellano

Victor Espinoza

Joel Rosario

Best Male Athlete with a Disability

Joe Berenyi, Cycling

Josh Pauls, Sled Hockey

Krige Schabort, Triathlon

Mike Shea, Snowboarding

Andy Soule, Nordic Skiing

Best Female Athlete with a Disability

Kendall Gretsch, Triathlon

Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field

Becca Meyers, Swimming

Greta Neimanas, Cycling

Best Bowler

Jason Belmonte

Parker Bohn III

Mike Fagan

Best MLS Player

Robbie Keane, Los Angeles Galaxy

Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders

Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

If you’d like to vote for the 2015 ESPYs, go to this link here.  The ESPYs are televised on ABC at 8 PM ET on Wednesday, July 15th with Joel McHale as this year’s host.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.