Every once in a while you get an amazing opportunity that you cant pass up, and last night was one of those opportunities for me. Thanks to my My cousin, I had orchestra seats to the 2009 ESPYs, and I got to meet a lot of the people who I write about every day here. It was a great time, and the show actually turned out to be pretty entertaining. I would definitely encourage you all to watch it on the 19th, you wont be disappointed.
My cousin is an emmy winning editor, and has worked on everything from the Beijing Olympics to the Super Bowl, and the ESPYs were one of his first sports projects back a few years ago. Funny enough, he is as much of a non-sports fan as you can be, which is odd that he has chosen sports editing as a focus for his work. For me, its great, as it means that I get a lot of perks like this, and my Uncle and I got to spend the night amongst top athletes from every sport.
When we got to the show, the arrival point was roped off so that people with credentials and people with tickets were automatically separated and shuttled to their “areas” very quickly. For an event that’s all about the fans, there werent many places for interaction, even from a distance. We were on a weird level of access, because we had special tickets but didn’t have credentials, so my uncle and I just walked right into the theater and grabbed a drink while we waited for the show to start. The minute I got there, I knew that I wouldn’t be getting any autographs, though a handshake or two wasn’t out of the question if I got lucky. While we were milling, Donald Driver and his people walked right by us, though we didn’t even notice until we saw some people mumbling about who it was. It was that kind of atmosphere, where you just couldn’t tell if someone was famous or not, because so many people actually were.
After about ten minutes, my uncle said we should take a look around rather than standing for 45 minutes. We walked around the front of the lobby until we saw the red carpet, and followed that down to a hallway where the athletes and celebs were heading to their seats. You could see a lot of tall people through the window, so it was pretty obvious that was where we needed to be. Before we could get close, a security guy blocked our path and said that only credentialed people could pass. He offered us the chance to answer his questions three, but we didn’t want to waste the time. Kidding.
When things got closer to showtime, that guy just walked away. I immidiately pounced on the opportunity to walk down, and stood right by where everyone was arriving. You could tell that most of the people were late, because a lot of the PAs were scrambling to find out what was going on. Every once in awhile you would hear the red carpet announcer say a name, followed by cheers, so that’s when we got ready. After we were done on the red carpet, we had gotten to meet Jeremy Piven, Bruce Jenner, Sasha Vujacic, Josh Powell, Carmelo Anthony, Knowshon Moreno, and a few other unidentified athletes and celebs. As Piven said, “I havent seen so much ice since my Bar Mitzvah!” Even though we didn’t get to have them sign any autographs, it was fun to be in the area.
We hustled to our seats as things were about to get started, but actually ended up waiting another 30 minutes before it did. A comedian came out and started doing off-color stand up about the people who were still coming in, especially Venus and Serena Williams, who didn’t look amused. When things around the door started to thin out, we heard a bunch of shouts and commotion, which made us wonder what was happening. First, Michael Phelps came in to a big ovation, followed by Kobe Bryant. Kobe obviously was the player people from LA wanted to see, so the comedian even pointed him out to the throngs of fans in the balcony.
The show got started, not without problems from the teleprompters and cameras, so they had to stop things a few times. Suprising enough to me, they didn’t really do any retakes or anything, but instead left it up to the post-show guys to clean up. I leaned over to my cousin and told him that he had his work cut out for him, to which he said that “work is an understatement.”
Twitter had a bit that they did through the whole show, lame as hell, much to the chagrin of Danica Patrick who was the butt of a few of the jokes. I will say she looked pretty hot when she was angry. However, the on stage stuff wasn’t even close to the best part of the show, and we all waited for the “commercial” breaks to watch the stuff that would be shown during the actual brodcast. The pre-taped segments were AMAZINGLY FUNNY, especially one with Peyton Manning making calls to people from the ESPN set. Kenny Mayne also had a great one with Scoop Jackson, but im not going to spoil them for you. They were too funny to rob you of that hillarity.
It was fun to actually be at the awards show, though I noticed that most of the nominees werent even there. All the people whose cards I brought didn’t come, but most of the main winners seemed to be there just by happenstance, I mean, it was pretty obvious they knew things ahead of time. I guess when you have to spring for whole entourages to come instead of just the person, its tough to invite a lot of people.
Michael Phelps was the big winner, though Natalie Gulbis was my favorite person to watch. She had on a TINY white dress, and she looked smokin. Nastia Liukin, gold medal winning gymnist even looked hot, which was kind of odd considering how small she is.
When the show was over, everyone started to file into the after party, which we werent invited to, but the lobby was filled with famous people heading over there. Luc Robataille stopped and took some pics with fans, but mostly everyone else entered behind a black sectioned off area. Instead of waiting around, my uncle and I left with my cousin and some of the other editors and headed across the street to ESPN zone to get some food and drinks.
Overall, it was a blast, though I wish I would have been able to take some pictures for everyone to see. They were really strict about everything, so we only had the chance to take one family picture with my cousin’s iPhone. Hopefully next year we will get to be a little closer to the action, but the opportunity to be there was awesome either way.