Seahawks up for four ESPYS on Wednesday

Posted Jul 16, 2014

The Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seahawks are up for “Best Team” at the ESPYS on Wednesday evening, when coach Pete Carroll, QB Russell Wilson and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman also are nominees.

As far as Russell Okung is concerned, the race for “Best Team” at Wednesday’s ESPYS Awards should be about as close as the Seahawks’ 43-8 romp over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

In addition to the Seahawks, the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, World Series champion Boston Red Sox, Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, NCAA football champion Florida State Seminoles, and NCAA women’s basketball champion University of Connecticut Huskies are up for team honors.

“We played a phenomenal player in Peyton Manning and a phenomenal team,” said Okung, the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle. “They’re the best of the AFC. They were blowing teams out by like 20, 30 points all season. Then we blow them out. That’s got to be worth something.”

It’s difficult to not second that notion. The offense the Seahawks throttled in the Super Bowl this past February was the highest scoring in NFL history and Manning set single-season records for passing yards and touchdown passes.

“We go out there, as underdogs, and give them some ball they’ve never seen before,” Okung said. “We just had to play our game. And once we started playing our game, we overwhelmed them in a dominating fashion.”

The Seahawks also have finalists in three other categories at the ESPYS, which will be telecast on ESPN starting at 6 p.m. PT from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif.

Pete Carroll, who led the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history in his fourth season, is up for “Best Coach/Manager.” Joining Carroll in the field are University of Connecticut basketball coaches Geno Auriemma (women) and Kevin Ollie (men), Red Sox manager John Ferrell, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson is in the field for “Best NFL Player” with Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and the Broncos’ Manning. Wilson was up for “Best Breakthrough Athlete” as a rookie last year, but the award went to San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick.

The field for “Best Breakthrough Athlete” this year includes Richard Sherman, the Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback, as well as Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, and New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. International Business Times is predicting that Sherman will be the winner after leading the NFL with eight interceptions for the Seahawks’ No. 1-ranked defense.

Predictions for the ESPYS? That’s what this made-for-cable-TV event has become since the first awards were handed out in 1993. And, like every other awards show, the ESPYS (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) are now open to second-guessing and even a few forehead slaps.

Sherman as “Best Breakthrough Athlete”? He also had eight interceptions in 2012, and also was voted All-Pro. Apparently not enough people noticed.

International Business Times predicts that the Spurs will win for “Best Team,” but Okung isn’t buying it.

“We’re going to win the award,” he said.

The Seahawks never have won an ESPY, but that could change Wednesday – just as the team that never had won a Super Bowl finally did in February.