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The Detroit ESPYS – Here Are Your Winners

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: American League All-Star Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers throws to first during the 84th MLB All-Star Game on July 16, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 16: American League All-Star Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers throws to first during the 84th MLB All-Star Game on July 16, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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By: Jamie Samuelsen

@JamieSamuelsen

It wasn’t a total washout for the city of Detroit at the ESPY Awards last night in Los Angeles. Miguel Cabrera rode his Triple Crown, MVP season to the ESPY for top baseball player. But Calvin Johnson lost out on two awards (Best Record-Breaking Performance to Michael Phelps and Best Football Player to Adrian Peterson). And Cabrera lost the Best Male Athlete Award to LeBron James. None of these results came as a huge surprise, but none of them were completely deserved either.

 

So let’s stack the deck in Detroit’s favor. What if we made up the DESPYs where only local athletes were eligible for the prize.

 

Here’s how I think it would go…

 

BEST GAME

 

The Nominees –

 

Michigan v. Louisville – 2013 NCAA Championship Game

Michigan v. Kansas – 2013 NCAA Regional semifinal

Tigers v. A’s – Game 2 – 2012 American League Championship Series

 

And the DESPY goes to –

 

THE 2013 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

 

Sure, it’s hard to give the game of the year to one where the home team lost. Michigan fell to Louisville 82-76. But all college basketball pundits agree that this one was an all-timer. Spike Albrecht stole the show in the first half with 17 points in the first 20 minutes. But Luke Hancock brought the Cardinals back before halftime with scorching shooting (He scored 11 straight points for UL). The second half was back and forth the whole way. And if a Trey Burke block wasn’t wrongly called a foul, there may be a new banner hanging up in Crisler Center. And this one would never get taken down.

 

BEST COACH

 

Jim Leyland – Tigers

Mike Babcock – Red Wings

John Beilein – Michigan

 

And the DESPY goes to…

 

JOHN BEILEIN

 

There were some doubts about Beilein early in his UM career. Those doubts are now gone. Michigan faltered a bit down the stretch and lost in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. But Beilein inserted Mitch McGary into the starting lineup for the NCAAs and Michigan got within seconds of a National Championship. Beilein had two players drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft and may have two go in the first round next season.

 

BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE

 

Andre Drummond, Pistons

Devin Gardner, Michigan

Jimmy Howard, Red Wings

 

And the DESPY goes to…

 

JIMMY HOWARD

 

Drummond arrived as the cornerstone of anything that the Pistons will do in the future. And Gardner went from being an afterthought at wide receiver to the starting quarterback for Michigan. But Howard finally had the postseason that the Red Wings hoped he would. He justified the 32 million dollar contract that the team handed him and nearly led the Wings to a stunning second round upset of the eventual Cup champion Blackhawks.

 

PRO ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Max Scherzer, Tigers

Calvin Johnson, Lions

 

And the DESPY goes to…

 

MIGUEL CABRERA

 

Scherzer may win the Cy Young Award this year and was the Tigers best pitcher in the second half last year. Johnson set the all-time receiving record. But Cabrera put up a season that we may never see again…unless he betters it this season. And with Miggy, we’ve learned to never say never when it comes to preposterous accomplishments.

 

COLLEGE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

Trey Burke, Michigan

Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State

Taylor Lewan, Michigan

 

And the DESPY goes to…

 

TREY BURKE

 

Bell is a deserving nominee for the carries and the punishment that he took almost single-handedly carrying the Michigan State offense last fall. But Burke was the consensus college player of the year and led Michigan to the title game. He almost got the chance to stay home and play for the Pistons – a decision that may haunt Joe Dumars for years to come.

 

TEAM OF THE YEAR

 

Michigan Baskeball

Detroit Tigers

Detroit Red Wings

 

And the DESPY goes to…

 

The Michigan Wolverines

 

This may be the closest one yet because both the Tigers and Michigan got as far as they could get without winning it all. But Michigan took Louisville to the limit while the Tigers were swept by the Giants. And let’s not forget that the Tigers regular season was frustrating and annoying for the most part. And they seem to be repeating the trick so far in 2013.

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