In an event that is supposed to be the sporting world’s answer to the Oscars or the Grammy’s, the ESPYs fell short of legitimacy in their Best Team award on Wednesday night.
A fan vote decided that the Kansas City Chiefs were the best team of the last year, snubbing an award that should have very easily gone to the record-setting Oklahoma Sooners softball team.
Led by Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and former Sooners Creed Humphrey and Orlando Brown Jr. (now with Cincinnati), the Chiefs were great in 2022 on their way to a Super Bowl win over Jalen Hurts, Lane Johnson and the Philadelphia Eagles.
But the fan voting aspect of the award took away a chance to recognize the greatness that was Oklahoma softball in 2023.
The Sooners lost one game in their third straight national title run. In February, they lost a one-run affair, 4-3, to the Baylor Bears. They didn’t lose another game the rest of the season. Not in Big 12 play. Not in the regionals or super regionals. Not in the Women’s College World Series.
The Sooners ended the season on a record-setting 53-game winning streak to capture their third consecutive national title. Their three-peat is only the second time the feat has been accomplished. The last time was nearly 40 years ago in the infancy of the sport at the NCAA level.
This team had the best offense in the country, the best ERA in the country, the best player in the NCAA tournament (Jordy Bahl), and arguably two of the best position players in the sport in Tiare Jennings and Jayda Coleman. And there’s no argument that they have the best coach in the sport leading the best team in sports with Patty Gasso at the helm.
Yes, it was a fan vote. Yes, the NFL is the more popular sport. And yes, the ESPYs missed an opportunity to honor a phenomenal feat on a public stage when the award was given to the more popular team and not the best team.
Here’s a look at how Twitter reacted to the snub.
An all-time winning streak and a national title (amongst many other things) still wasn’t ESPY worthy, apparently.
Even Mike White thinks OU softball got snubbed.
— Tyler McComas (@Tyler_McComas) July 13, 2023
Oh wow. Chief won. Surprise.
So now we need to 4 peat.
— Jackie Winz (@jackiewinz) July 13, 2023
That loss to Baylor is what cost OU Softball the ESPY for Best Team. A total failure on Patty Gasso’s…