Iowa Class, Panther Power, Seth Rules

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  • The ESPYs are usually unbearable. Bad jokes, smug superstars, and a self-serving network spraining its arm patting itself on the back. In other words, just a step above, “The Decision”. However, Wednesday night the ESPYs were must-see-TV.
  • The highlight of the night, as it usually is, was the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. This year it went to the family of the late Ed Thomas. Brett Favre introduced a remarkable film narrated by Kiefer Sutherland. The documentary raised goosebumps and moved tears. It showed what a great coach Thomas was, but more importantly what a great man. The winning, the tornado, the rebuilding, and the senseless murder were all there. The story really hit home when it showed the compassion and forgiveness the Thomas family showed the Beckers. It set the tone for the entire community. It’s hard to imagine any state could find a family that represents its best virtues more than the Thomas’ do for Iowa. When the piece ended, hardened sports stars and Hollywood celebrities were crying, and everyone was on their feet. Aaron Thomas then gave a brief speech that would have made his father proud. Bravo.
  • UNI also picked up an ESPY for “Best Upset”. The only bigger upset would have been if UNI didn’t win. It was good to see Coach Jake, Ali, and Koch again. Do you know anyone, other than a Kansas fan, who didn’t love sports the night UNI took down #1 KU?
  • Other than the dash of Iowa class our state dropped all over the ESPYs, the other thing that saved it from the usual train wreck was Seth Meyers hosting. He was funny without being mean. He also brought along many of his SNL buddies, including alum Will Ferrell. All told, a good night.
  • “The Decision” did not win an ESPY.
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