Monday, July 19, 2010

2010 ESPY Awards

By Jessica Ceresino (SMBA '11)

"Hello (Insert any professional athlete's name here), welcome to the W, let me get you checked in upstairs and into VIP hospitality."

This was my "go-to" phrase as I welcomed athletes and celebrities to the brand new W hotel in Hollywood. For the second year, I was given the opportunity to work as part of the ESPN team for the ESPY awards. As I arrived at the hotel, I felt like I was walking into the latest edition of Sports Illustrated. Terrell Owens, Drew Brees, Lindsey Vonn, Evan Longoria, and Lisa Leslie are among the dozens of elite athletes that were in town to attend the award show.

While the entire week was noteworthy, perhaps the climax of the experience for me was on Wednesday, the day of the ESPYs. As the limo busses pulled up to the red carpet, I knew that I was in for a very special evening. Quickly the Nokia Theater filled up with anxious athletes and their fans. Seth Meyers hosted the show with ease and kept everyone laughing throughout the night. After the show ended, the athletes flooded the VIP lounge where I was posted during the show. They socialized, snacked and gave interviews before moving on to the after parties.

As the lounge emptied there were still a few familiar faces hanging out and before I could finish recognizing them, they formed a conga line and began singing as they exited the room. I followed behind to close up the lounge and eventually make my way back to the busses. Then, as I entered a long hallway backstage, I spotted the conga line stopped at the end. Almost immediately they began to chant an all too familiar tune..."Ole, Ole Ole Ole, Ooole, Ooole." It was the US Men's National Soccer team chanting the famous soccer anthem. They weren't celebrating a World Cup victory, but an ESPY award for best moment. The team finished chanting and headed out the doors. As I stood there soaking in the moment, a reporter turned to me with a smile and said, "that's why I love sports."

I couldn't agree more.

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