SneakerBall VI!

ESPN has the ESPY Awards to honor the greats in sports, and DC has its own version. It's called SneakerBall, albeit on a much smaller scale - without the likes of Kobe, MJ, Lance Armstrong and Samuel L. Jackson. But unlike the ESPYS, you get to wear comfortable shoes - sneakers even - with that suit and tie, and that formal gown. That's why it's called SneakerBall.

Nothing says sports like being honored for the work that you do. Last evening, the sixth annual SneakerBall gala, presented by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance was held to recognize our area's favorite sports icons. Unlike previous years, sports fans could actually vote online this year for their favorite person in several categories.

And the winners are:

Sportsperson of the Year - Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals); considered the most outstanding individual in a sport. This is Alex's second year winning the award. (He also won in 2008).

Sports Executive of the Year - George McPhee (Caps VP/GM). McPhee won over finalists Chartese Burnett (Washington Nationals VP of Communications and Community Relations), and Kevin Payne (DC United President/CEO)

Corporate Sponsor of the Year - GEICO

Best Sports Feature Award - Lindsay Czarniak's 'Remembering Sean Taylor'. Lindsay was chosen over Fox 5's Dave Feldman(Conquering Cancer: DeMatha's Matt Miller returns to play lacross), and Comcast SportsNet ('My Life 365 Art Monk')

Best Sports Play - This award also went to Alex Ovechkin. Alex won over Semyon Varlamov's playoff save, and Alex's own regular season goal play. Gotta love it!

The Solid Character Award went to the Washington Redskins' Chris Cooley. This category best exemplifies community and charitable qualities.

The Best Team Mascot award went to Chief Zee of the Washington Redskins. The Chief won over, well, all the other Washington sports teams mascots. After all, he is the Chief!

This year's event recognized Eunice Kennedy Shriver for the Hall of Champions Inductee.

Kennedy devoted her life to improving the welfare of mentally disabled people and founded the Special Olympics in 1968 to showcase their abilities. On a local level, the Greater Washington D.C. region is home to over 2,000 Special Olympics athletes.

“We are pleased to honor the legacy of this extraordinary human being,” said Robert Sweeney, President of the Greater Washington Sports Alliance. “Mrs. Shriver forever improved the lives of millions by leading a human rights movement to bring dignity, respect, opportunity and hope to people with intellectual disabilities throughout the world. I can think of no better person to receive this honor.”

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who passed away in August at the age of 88, becomes the first Hall of Champion honoree to be inducted posthumously. Frank Stephens, Special Olympics Athlete and Global Messenger Speaker accepted the award in her honor.

Past Hall of Champions inductees have included Darrell Green, Abe Pollin (2004); Art Monk, Dominique Dawes (2005); Ted Leonsis, James Brown (2007) Bobby Mitchell, Debbie Yow; along with last year's inductees Brian Mitchell, Brig Owens, and Adrian Dantley.

The event was again hosted by NBC4's Steve Buckhantz and sports anchor Lindsay Czarniak, who intro'd wearing these strange sumo wrestling outfits.

"This thing is making me sweat", said Buckhantz. "I've always wanted to sweat with you Lindsay, but that's another story."

Seen at the gala: DC's dynamic boxing duo, Lamont and Anthony Peterson, Skins Fred Smoot, Caron Butler (back from China), singer Patty Austin, and too many others to mention. Check out the pics here.

Best moment at the gala: Me, posing with a few of my fav DC athletes!

For more info on Sneakerball and the GWSA, click here.

See photos of last year's event here.


dcsportsfan said…
Good job.
Anonymous said…
Let me tell you - a few drinks and you find people doing all kinds of stuff after the awards portion over.

I saw Chief Zee get down on the floor dancing with a fan, and Mark Ein all over a blonde.
rainey4 said…
Caps get it done. Other DC teams should follow suit.
Anonymous said…
Great pics too!