Best Play ESPY Award

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The Best Play ESPY Award has been conferred annually since 2002 on the play in a single regular season or playoff game contested professionally under the auspices of one of the four major North American leagues or collegiately under the auspices of the National Collegiate Athletic Association adjudged to be the most outstanding or best.

Between 2002 and 2004, the award voting panel comprised variously fans; sportswriters and broadcasters, sports executives, and retired sportspersons, termed collectively experts; and ESPN personalities, but balloting thereafter has been exclusively by fans over the Internet from amongst choices selected by the ESPN Select Nominating Committee. The ESPY Awards ceremony is conducted in July and awards conferred reflect performance and achievement over the twelve months previous to presentation.[1] In the last few years, the format has been: sixteen plays are placed in brackets (1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, etc.) The winners in voting then advance to the second round. The winners go to the finals, where voters select Best Play.

List of winners[edit]

Year Game or event Competing teams Date Venue League or governing body Sport Play
2002 Game three of the 2001 American League Division Series New York Yankees

Oakland Athletics

October 13, 2001 Network Associates Coliseum (Oakland, California) Major League Baseball Baseball Assist by Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter to catcher Jorge Posada in the game's seventh inning (known thereafter as The Flip)
2003 2002 regular season Division I-A game LSU Tigers

Kentucky Wildcats

November 9, 2002 Commonwealth Stadium (Lexington, Kentucky) National Collegiate Athletic Association American football Seventy-four-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Tigers quarterback Marcus Randall to wide receiver Devery Henderson upon the expiration of regulation time for a Tigers win (known thereafter as the Bluegrass Miracle)
2004 2003 regular season game New Orleans Saints

Jacksonville Jaguars

December 21, 2003 Alltel Stadium (Jacksonville, Florida) National Football League American football Forty-two-yard forward pass from Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks to wide receiver Donte' Stallworth and laterals from Stallworth to wide receiver Michael Lewis to running back Deuce McAllister to wide receiver Jerome Pathon totaling thirty-three yards for a touchdown to draw the Saints within one point of the Jaguars upon the expiration of regulation time (known thereafter as the River City Relay)
2005 Class 4A state championship game Eastview High School Lightning

Hopkins High School Royals

March 20, 2005 Target Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Minnesota State High School League Basketball Eighteen-foot two-point field goal by Royals shooting guard Blake Hoffarber while sitting down upon the expiration of a first overtime to draw the Royals equal with the Lightning and to force a second overtime
2006 2005 regular season Division I-A game Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Alabama Crimson Tide

September 10, 2005 Bryant–Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) National Collegiate Athletic Association American football Fourth-down reception by Crimson Tide wide receiver Tyrone Prothro of a forty-two-yard pass from quarterback Brodie Croyle over Golden Eagles cornerback Jasper Faulk
2007 2007 Fiesta Bowl Boise State Broncos

Oklahoma Sooners

January 1, 2007 University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Arizona) National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I FBS American football Three-yard rush by Broncos running back Ian Johnson for a two-point conversion on a variant of the Statue of Liberty play executed from a play-action fake undertaken by quarterback Jared Zabransky for a Broncos overtime win
2008 Super Bowl XLII New York Giants

New England Patriots

February 3, 2008 University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Arizona) National Football League American football Thirty-two-yard reception over Patriots strong safety Rodney Harrison by reserve wide receiver David Tyree of a third-down pass completed by Giants quarterback Eli Manning whilst under threat of sack from Patriots defensive ends Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green and outside linebacker Adalius Thomas, undertaken from the Giants' forty-four-yard line with one minute, fifteen seconds to play in the fourth quarter and the team's trailing 14-10 (The Helmet Catch)
2009 Super Bowl XLIII Pittsburgh Steelers

Arizona Cardinals

February 1, 2009 Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Florida) National Football League American football Six-yard reception by Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with 35 seconds left giving the Steelers a 27-23 lead over the Cardinals
2010 2009 regular season game Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

September 27, 2009 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Minneapolis, Minnesota) National Football League American football Thirty-two-yard reception by Vikings wide receiver Greg Lewis from quarterback Brett Favre with two seconds left giving the Vikings a 27-24 lead over the 49ers
2011 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Quarterfinal United States


July 10, 2011 Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion (Dresden, Germany) FIFA Soccer Goal by forward Abby Wambach off cross from midfielder Megan Rapinoe in the last minute of stoppage time, with the United States down 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. The United States would later go on to win in a penalty shoot-out to advance to the semifinals.
2012 2011–12 regular season game Indiana Hoosiers

Kentucky Wildcats

December 10, 2011 Assembly Hall (Bloomington, Indiana) NCAA men's basketball Basketball Indiana junior forward Christian Watford sank a 3-pointer with no time left on the clock, leading the Hoosiers to a 73-72 upset over previously-unbeaten No. 1 Kentucky. Indiana fans stormed the floor of Assembly Hall as the win propelled the Hoosiers' comeback season to the Sweet 16.
2013 2013 Outback Bowl South Carolina Gamecocks

Michigan Wolverines

January 1, 2013 Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Florida) National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Bowl Subdivision American football South Carolina sophomore defensive end Jadeveon Clowney made a vicious tackle on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the fourth quarter. The hit was so devastating that Smith lost both his helmet and the football, Clowney then recovered the fumble with one hand. On the next play, the Gamecocks scored a touchdown that gave them the momentum it needed to win the game.
2014 2013 Iron Bowl Auburn Tigers

Alabama Crimson Tide

November 30, 2013 Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn, Alabama) National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Bowl Subdivision American football Auburn cornerback Chris Davis caught a missed Alabama field goal at the back of the end zone as time ran out and ran it back 109 (officially 100) yards for the game-winning touchdown. It kept Auburn's chances for the national championship alive (known thereafter as Kick Bama Kick by Auburn fans, or more neutrally as Kick Six).
2015 2014 regular season game New York Giants

Dallas Cowboys

November 23, 2014 MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey) National Football League American football Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught a one-handed 43-yard touchdown reception hailed as the "catch of the year".
2016 2015 regular season game Green Bay Packers

Detroit Lions

December 3, 2015 Ford Field (Detroit, Michigan) National Football League American football Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a 61-yard Hail Mary TD pass to Richard Rodgers to win 27-23. The Packers scored two touchdowns in the last three-plus minutes to win the game. Known as the Miracle in Motown.
2017 2016 divisional playoff game Green Bay Packers

Dallas Cowboys

January 15, 2017 AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas) National Football League American football Aaron Rodgers threw a 35-yard pass to Jared Cook which Cook caught while he was going out of bounds. That play led to Mason Crosby kicking the field goal that won the game for the Packers, 34-31.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Because of the rescheduling of the ESPY Awards ceremony, the award presented in 2002 was given in consideration of performance betwixt February 2001 and June 2002.