ESPN, espnW Branching Out Nine For IX Series

Courtesy:  ESPN/espnW

Courtesy: ESPN/espnW

Fans of ESPN’s hugely popular and successful Nine for IX series have even more reason to be excited today.  ESPN President John Skipper announced today that espnW and ESPN Films will continue the collaboration that they started with this Summer’s Nine for IX series into the future.  The two organizations will continue their partnership with an annual digital short film series.  Skipper shared his thoughts on what led to the decision in a prepared statement.  “The Nine for IX brand has become a beacon for stories that matter to the modern sports fan,” said Skipper. “We are proud to continue this critically acclaimed series, providing fans a fresh, unique, and relevant point of view on the evolving landscape of women in sports.”

The first five films in the annual digital short film series will air during Summer 2014.  They and all shorts to follow will be made available on a variety of digital ESPN platforms.  They will also eventually be aired on the ESPN family of networks and on mobile devices and applications.  They will also be available online at espnW and ESPN.com.  It will continue to be executive produced by Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America and Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of Tribeca Productions. 

Along with the announcement of this new digital shorts series, the announcement was also made that espnW will now have a new annual power ranking list—the espnW Impact 10—that will recognize the ten female athletes who have made a significant impact on and off the field during the past year.  The annual power ranking list will highlight the stories and biggest moments from 2013 through videos, columns and articles, photo galleries and athlete profiles.  Each year’s list will be judged by an industry panel of judges.  Fans will also have the chance to debate and vote on the list online at http://www.espnW.com and via twitter.  The Impact 10 will debut on espnW and on ESPN’s SportsCenter.  More information on this and more is available online at http://www.espnW.com and http://www.facebook.com/espnW.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com

James, Williams, Heat Lead The Night At Annual ESPYs Awards

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Another year, another big night for the ESPYS.  LeBron James and his team mates with the Miami heat were some of the big winners at ESPN’s annual sports awards show.  Also on the list of the year’s big winners were Serena Williams and Michael Phelps.  James led the pack with three ESPY awards.  And his team mates took home the award in the “Best Team” category for the second consecutive year.  James’ awards were in the categories of: “Best Championship Performance”, “Best NBA Player”, and “Best Male Athlete.”  Just as his team mates won their award for the second consecutive year, so did James take home the same awards personally for the second consecutive year, too.  Last night’s win brings James’ ESPY total to nine awards over the course of his career. 

Serena Williams took home two awards on the night.  She won in the categories of “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Best Female Tennis Player.”

Game Six of the NBA Championship finals won the award in the “Best Game” category.  It was in that game that Ray Allen forced the game into overtime with a game-tying three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the game.  The Heat went on to win the game and the 2013 NBA Championship.

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick might not have won the big game this year.  But he did win at the ESPYs.  He took home the award in the “Best Breakout Athlete.”  Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby won in the category of “Best NHL Player.”  The award comes on the heels of a season that saw Crosby score fifteen goals and forty-one assists over the course of the regular season.  And from the world of Major League Baseball, Detroit Tigers player and triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera brought home the award for “Best MLB Player.”  Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps won the award for “Best Record-Breaking Performance.”  He won the award for his record setting the all-time record for most Olympic Medals at a total of twenty-two medals.  He also won this award in 2009. 

In one of the night’s more emotional moments, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts took home the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.  Roberts, who also played a direct hand in the new ESPN/espnW film series, Nine for IX, was one of ESPN’s first female sports anchors in the 1990s.  Roberts has faced both cancer and MDS yet never wavered in her fight against either life-threatening illness.  The award was presented to Roberts by LeBron James. 

Another of the night’s more emotional moments came in the presentation of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.  The award was given to the father and son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt.  The pair has competed together in over one thousand endurance events including thirty-one Boston Marathons.  The younger of the duo, Rick Hoyt, is 51-years old.  He was born with cerebral palsy.  The condition left him unable to use his hands and legs.  His father, 73-year old Dick Hoyt, pushes his son in a custom-made running chair during races including 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons and triathlons.  The award was given to the duo by actor Ben Affleck. 

Among some of the nights other notable winners were:  Rick Pitino (Best Coach/Manager), Candace Parker (Best WNBA Player), Floyd Mayweather (Best Fighter), Missy Franklin (Best Female Olympian), Usain Bolt (Best International Athlete) and Thierry Henry (Best MLS Player).  A full list of the night’s winners is available below.

SPECIAL AWARDS

 

ARTHUR ASHE COURAGE AWARD: Robin Roberts

JIMMY V AWARD FOR PERSEVERANCE: Dick and Rick Hoyt

 

BEST IN SPORT

 

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: Serena Williams

BEST MALE ATHLETE: LeBron James

BEST FEMALE OLYMPIAN: Missy Franklin

BEST MALE OLYMPIAN: Michael Phelps

BEST MOMENT: Jack Hoffman TD at Nebraska spring game

BEST TEAM: Miami Heat

BEST COMEBACK: Adrian Peterson

BEST COACH/MANAGER: Rick Pitino

BEST GAME: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 6 NBA Finals

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE: LeBron James, NBA Finals

BEST PLAY:

BEST UPSET: 15-Seed Florida Gulf Coast over 2-Seed Georgetown

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE: Colin Kaepernick

BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE: Michael Phelps 22 Olympic medals

BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Johnny Manziel

BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Brittney Griner

BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Jeremy Campbell

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Jessica Long

 

INDIVIDUAL SPORTS

 

BEST MLB PLAYER: Miguel Cabrera

BEST NBA PLAYER: LeBron James

BEST WNBA PLAYER: Candace Parker

BEST NFL PLAYER: Adrian Peterson

BEST NHL PLAYER: Sidney Crosby

BEST MLS PLAYER: Thierry Henry

BEST MALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Nyjah Huston

BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Stephanie Gilmore

BEST BOWLER: Pete Weber

BEST DRIVER: Ryan Hunter-Reay

BEST FIGHTER: Floyd Mayweather

BEST MALE GOLFER: Tiger Woods

BEST FEMALE GOLFER: Stacey Lewis

BEST INTERNATIONAL ATHLETE: Usain Bolt

BEST JOCKEY: Joel Rosario

BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER: Novak Djokovic

BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER: Serena Williams

 

SPONSORED AWARD

 

CAPITAL ONE CUP: North Carolina Women’s Athletics and UCLA Men’s Athletics

 

To find out more about the night’s events, fans can go online to the official ESPN website, http://www.espn.com or its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and “Like” it.

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Nine For IX Series Continues With Film On Vols Coach Pat Summit

Courtesy:  ESPN/espnW

Courtesy: ESPN/espnW

The next film in ESPN Films’ and espnW’s Nine for IX series airs next Tuesday, July 9thPat XO focuses on the University of Tennessee women’s legendary basketball coach, Pat Summit.  Summit’s story is told through the words of those who know the beloved coach most, including her own family.  Her son Tyler, who serves as Assistant Coach of Marquette’s women’s basketball team, serves as lead storyteller in this moving film.  Others to share their stories and thoughts on coach Summit in this film include the likes of: Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, fellow coach Geno Auriemma, country music artist Kenny Chesney, and even players Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings, and Michelle Marciniak.

Pat XO was co-directed by Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters.  The pair’s first collaboration, Emmanuel’s Gift, was an award winning documentary.  The documentary followed the story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah in his fight for the rights of two million disabled citizens of in Ghana, West Africa.  They have also worked on a trio of prime-time specials for PBS, a documentary with Harpo Studios on Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls, and the film, UnmatchedUnmatched is a film included in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.  It follows the rivalry and friendship between tennis stars Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, and is told through the pair’s own experiences and words.  Robin Roberts, host of ABC’s Good Morning America, produced the new film.  It will air next Tuesday night at 8pm EST on ESPN.

All films in the Nine for IX series will be available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon the day after each is aired.  They will all be culled for a special gift set from ESPN on October 15th, 2013.

The complete schedule for the Nine for IX series is listed below.

July 9: Pat XO

 

July 16: Let Them Wear Towels

 

July 23: No Limits

 

July 30: Swoopes

 

August 6: The Diplomat

 

August 13: Runner

 

August 20: The ‘99ers

 

August 27: Branded

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

In The Game With Robin Roberts Returning For Second Season

 

Courtesy:  ESPN/espnW

Courtesy: ESPN/espnW

In The Game with Robin Roberts presented by Lexus returns next week.  The sports based program is produced by espnW in partnership with ABC News.  It can be viewed online at http://www.espnW.com and http://www.abcnews.com, and on TV on ESPN’s SportsCenterGood Morning America host and former ESPN anchor Robin Roberts, will be joined by NASCAR driver Danica Patrick for a one-on-one conversation in next week’s season premiere. 

When asked about Roberts returning to host the program again, espnW  Vice President Laura Gentile shared her thoughts on having her return to host again.  “Robin Roberts is a respected journalist and life-long athlete,” Gentile said.  “In the Game enables Robin to connect with today’s athletes in an intimate setting and uncover insights and stories that truly illuminate them as people. It’s a unique platform and one in which only Robin could bring such power and meaning.” 

Roberts shared Gentile’s sentiment adding, “I’ll probably always be an athlete at heart,” she noted.  “I appreciate espnW bringing me back for a second season. There’s so much we can all learn from these top athletes. I also enjoy bringing out a side of them rarely seen. Teaming up again with espnW is a perfect fit.” 

Roberts’ interviews with her guests are expected to focus on “pursuit of perfection” in each athlete’s career and personal life.  U.S. Gold Medal winning gymnast Gabby Douglas and U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan are both scheduled to appear this season on In The Game with Robin Roberts presented by Lexus along with even more guests to be announced at later dates.

Fans that miss any interviews will be able to check them out in full online at http://www.espnW.com/inthegame and http://www.abcnews.com/inthegame.  Fans can also go to these websites for bonus content including: additional clips, a video archive, and photos.  For all the latest news on what’s going on at espnW, fans can “Like” the espnW Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/espnW

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Miggs Announces Dates For New Album, Tour

Florida based band, miggs, has announced the dates for the release of its new album and supporting tour.  The band will release its fifth full length studio release, “15th and Hope” on Tuesday, September 11th.  The album was produced by music legend Phil Ramone.  It will be supported by a three week tour with Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, beginning October 17th at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle.  miggs will also make a stop in North Carolina during its tour.  It will perform at the Cats Crade in Carrboro on Sunday, October 28th. 

The band has already released a lyric video for the lead single from “15th and Hope.”  Fans can check out the video for ‘Stars’ online now at  http://bit.ly/MRK7p5.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.