Predicting the winners for tonight's ESPY Awards

Maya Moore is the only Minnesota athlete up for an ESPY.

I'm feeling good about these. Go ahead and call me Joestradamus when I nail 90-95% of tonight's ESPY winners. Let's go category-by-category, per ESPN's list of nominees.

Best Male Athlete

  • Kris Bryant, Cubs
  • Sidney Crosby, Penguins
  • Michael Phelps, Swimming
  • Russell Westbrook, Thunder

You know they'll give this to Phelps. Love you, RWB. You deserve better.

Best Female Athlete

  • Simone Biles, Gymnastics
  • Katie Ledecky, Swimming
  • Candace Parker, Sparks
  • Serena Williams, Tennis

She put on one of the all-time dominant displays in Olympic history.

Best Championship Performance

  • Tom Brady, Super Bowl
  • Kevin Durant, NBA Finals
  • Shay Knighten, WCWS
  • Deshaun Watson, CFB National Championship

Down 28-3 late in the third quarter and winning? Easy pick.

Best Breakthrough Athlete

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
  • Laurie Hernandez, Gymnastics
  • Aaron Judge, Yankees
  • Dak Prescott, Cowboys
  • Christian Pulisic, Soccer

Giannis is deserving but this award is going to Judge or Dak, and I'm going Dak since he was awesome for a full season. Judge has only played half of a season.

Best Record-Breaking Performance

  • Bill Belichick most Super Bowl wins by a head coach
  • Michael Phelps extends his own record of most gold medals/most Olympic medals
  • Diana Taurasi breaks WNBA career scoring record
  • Russell Westbrook most triple doubles in a season

My money is on Westbrook winning since he broke the longest-standing record.

Best Upset

  • Clemson defeats Alabama, CFB National Championship
  • Denis Istomin over Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2nd Round
  • Mississippi State defeats Connecticut, Women's NCAA Basketball Final Four

It's rigged if Mississippi State ending UConn's 111-game winning streak in the Final Four doesn't win.

Best Game

  • Cubs vs. Indians, World Series Game 7
  • Patriots vs. Falcons, Super Bowl
  • Federer vs. Nadal, Australian Open Final

Cubs-Indians was intense the entire game while the Super Bowl was a bore until the Patriots woke up late in the third quarter.

Best Comeback Athlete

  • Matt Bush, Rangers
  • Roger Federer, Tennis
  • Jordy Nelson, Packers
  • Candace Parker, Sparks

Bush's story is fantastic with a comeback from substance abuse and prison time to becoming one of baseball's dominant relievers.

Best Play

  • Julian Edelman Super Bowl catch vs. 16. Noah Brown TD catch around defender
  • Morgan Williams buzzer beater vs. UConn vs.15. Larry Nance dunk
  • Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook vs. 14. Lamar Jackson hurdles defender
  • Northwestern buzzer beater vs. 13. Edwin Encarnacion walk off HR
  • Russell Westbrook buzzer beater vs. 12. LeBron James dunk off the backboard
  • Chris Coghlan leaps over catcher vs. 11. Sidney Crosby one-handed goal
  • Olivier Giroud scorpion kick goal vs. 10. Warriors jump ball transition dunk
  • Mario Mandzukic goal in UEFA Final vs. 9. Jarrod Dyson catch

This is a bracket format and the winner's are voted through. The scorpion kick goal is pretty crazy but there's nothing on this list more impressive than Jarrod Dyson's full speed home run robbery. Unfortunately, I doubt that'll win. Instead, they'll give the damn award to Rodgers and Cook.

Best Team

  • Chicago Cubs, MLB
  • Clemson Tigers, CFB
  • Golden State Warriors, NBA
  • Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL
  • New England Patriots, NFL
  • South Carolina Gamecocks, Women's NCAA Basketball
  • US Women's Gymnastics

Nobody had a chance against the Warriors.

Best International Athlete

  • Canelo Alvarez, Boxing
  • Usain Bolt, Track and Field
  • Katinka Hosszu, Swimming
  • Conor McGregor, MMA
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer

He went out on top like the greats are supposed to.

Best NFL Player

  • Tom Brady, New England Patriots
  • Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
  • Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
  • Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
  • Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Will it be the Super Bowl champ Brady or the MVP Matt Ryan?

Best MLB Player

  • Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
  • David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
  • Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox
  • Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
  • Mike Trout, LA Angels

This is stupid if Trout isn't the winner. He's the reigning MVP and has been first or second in MVP voting each of the last five years.

Best NHL Player

  • Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

They must've lost Mikael Granlund's name somewhere.

Best Driver

  • Ron Capps, NHRA
  • Lewis Hamilton, Formula One
  • Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
  • Simon Pagenaud, IndyCar
  • Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR

I have no idea who Simon Pagenaud is. I'm guessing.

Best NBA Player

  • Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
  • James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
  • Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

LeBron is the man but RWB wins.

Best WNBA Player

  • Tina Charles, New York Liberty
  • Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics
  • Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
  • Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks
  • Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

Maya Moore is the best all-around player in the league but Parker will win this award based on leading the Sparks over the Lynx for the title.

Best Fighter

  • Terence Crawford, Boxing
  • Gennady Golovkin, Boxing
  • Demetrious Johnson, MMA
  • Conor McGregor, MMA
  • Andre Ward, Boxing

Give Gennady Golovkin his due. He's knocked out all of his opponents going back more than a decade.

Best Male Golfer

  • Brooks Koepka
  • Sergio Garcia
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Henrik Stenson

DJ is living the good life and had he not fell down the stairs prior to The Masters he might've kept his 2016 season rolling into 2017.

Best Female Golfer

  • In Gee Chun
  • Ariya Jutanugarn
  • Lydia Ko
  • So Yeon Ryu
  • Lexi Thompson

South Korea owns the LPGA.

Best Male Tennis Player

  • Roger Federer
  • Andy Murray
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Stan Wawrinka

Roger will take this home.

Best Female Tennis Player

  • Angelique Kerber
  • Jelena Ostapenko
  • Monica Puig
  • Serena Williams

Serena. Duh.

Best Male College Athlete

  • Ian Harkes, Wake Forest soccer
  • Frank Mason, Kansas basketball
  • Matt Rambo, Maryland lacrosse
  • Zain Retherford, Penn State wrestling
  • DeShaun Watson, Clemson football

Watson won't go home without an ESPY.

Best Female College Athlete

  • Inky Ajanaku, Stanford volleyball
  • Kelly Barnhill, Florida softball
  • Kadeisha Buchanan, West Virginia soccer
  • Kelsey Plum, Washington basketball
  • Zoe Stukenberg, Maryland lacrosse

Barnhill was amazing for Florida softball but my money is on Plum.

Best Male Action Sports Athlete

  • Oystein Braaten (NOR), Ski
  • John John Florence, Surf
  • Nyjah Huston, Skateboard
  • Mark McMorris, Snowboard

No idea who these people are but since the X-Games are in town I'll take the skateboarder.

Best Female Action Sports Athlete

  • Lacey Baker, Skateboard
  • Anna Gasser, Snowboard
  • Kelly Sildaru, Ski
  • Tyler Wright, Surf

I think I've heard of Gasser.

Best Jockey

  • Javier Castellano
  • Mike E. Smith
  • John Velasquez

You don't win the Kentucky Derby and lose this award.

Best Male Athlete With a Disability

  • Will Groulx, Cycling
  • Mike Minor, Snowboarding
  • Steve Serio, Wheelchair Basketball
  • Brad Snyder, Swimming
  • Roderick Townsend, Track and Field

Just a guess.

Best Female Athlete With a Disability

  • Oksana Masters, Nordic Skiing
  • Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field
  • Becca Meyers, Swimming
  • Shawn Morelli, Cycling
  • Grace Norman, Triathlon

Guessing the triathlete wins.

Best Bowler

  • Jason Belmonte
  • Francois Lavoie
  • EJ Tackett

Never bet against someone named Francois.

Best MLS Player

  • Andre Blake, Philadelphia Union
  • Stefan Frei, Seattle Sounders FC
  • Matt Hedges, FC Dallas
  • David Villa, New York City FC
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

I asked my European co-worker Adam Uren. I'll go with his knowledge.

Best Male US Olympic Athlete

  • Ashton Eaton, Decathlon
  • Ryan Murphy, Swimming
  • Michael Phelps, Swimming
  • Kyle Snyder, Wrestling

Too easy.

Best Female US Olympic Athlete

  • Simone Biles, Gymnastics
  • Allyson Felix, Track & Field
  • Katie Ledecky, Swimming
  • Simone Manuel, Swimming

Ledecky or Biles, but since I went Biles earlier I have to do it again.

Next Up

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith warns Dems she may not vote for budget bill if climate plan dropped

This comes amid a White House effort to get its "Build Back Better" plan passed.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

St. Paul man dies six days after crash on I-94

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified the man as David Rodney Hardaway.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Double murder in northeastern Minnesota, suspect kills himself after chase

The suspect died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

chaska school fight

Anti-masker involved in school board meeting fight charged with assault

It happened last month at an Eastern Carver County Schools hearing.

Marcus Foligno

Marcus Foligno throws hands, scores game-winning goal in Wild's opener

The Wild forward scored with 7.2 seconds left to beat Anaheim.

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.


Predicting the winners for tonight's ESPY Awards

Maya Moore is the only Minnesota athlete up for an ESPY.

UMD's Connolly up for ESPY Award

Former UMD hockey star Jack Connolly is a finalist for the ESPY Award: "Best Male Collegiate Athlete." Connolly won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and was named the WCHA player of the year. The awards show takes place July 11.

Seimone Augustus up for ESPY Award

Seimone Augustus, the leading scorer for the Minnesota Lynx, has been nominated the ESPY Award, "Best WNBA Player." Augustus led the Lynx to the WNBA title last season by scoring nearly 25 points/game in the Finals.

Paige Bueckers

Bueckers’ speech at ESPY Awards draws rave reviews

The former Hopkins standout used her platform to advocate for Black female athletes.

Taquarius Waire

Minnesotan to receive award for perseverance at The ESPYS

The young man is thriving after being given a 20% chance to live.

Maya Moore gets benched, then hits winner in New York

It's Maya Moore, what else would you expect?