This is a guest post by Ben Thapa aka Tree Frog.
The Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly awards were held last night. We know them better as the ESPYs, or the awards decided by the fans and handed out by ESPN in a big, goofy televised semi-formal swankathon. We as fans tend to make a big deal out of titles and team accomplishments, yet the ESPYs often recognize brilliant individual performances that aren't on the gigantic stages of the NFL, NBA, MLB etc.
This year's set of awards is special because Anthony Robles, the 2011 NCAA D1 wrestling champion at 125 lbs, won two of them. We've written about Anthony's incredible journey before, but it deserves yet another short summary: Anthony was born with only one leg and became such an incredible wrestler that he went undefeated in his final year at Arizona State - while winning the NCAA championships in dominant fashion. And he was named the overall Most Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA championships.
Robles won the Best Male Athlete with a Disability award and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. The Jimmy V award is given to someone who has overcome great obstacles with physical perseverance and determination - George Karl, the Denver Nuggets coach, won it last year for his battles with cancer. Anthony's stellar work ethic and innovative usage of the tilt concept (putting the opponent in danger of being pinned) to score points led to one of the best stories in all of sports coming together almost before our eyes. It is truly commendable that sports fans and ESPN have recognized his efforts and achievements and given him an even bigger stage to tell his inspirational story.
With Robles's accomplishments gaining their deserved attention, it gives us hope that someday the fans might even be able to break the Mayweather/Pacquiao stranglehold on Fighter of the Year award by recognizing an MMA fighter as top dog.