Meb Keflezighi and his historic Boston Marathon victory are nowhere to be found in the list of ESPY candidates.
Today is officially the slowest day of the year in American sports, which is why ESPN regularly holds The ESPYS award show on this day. It’s a great time to review great moments in sports over the previous 12 months.
But in scrolling through the candidates for the awards, it’s clear that ESPN has dropped the ball when it comes to one of the world’s best highlights in the past year, maybe the past decade—or past couple decades.
Meb Keflezighi and his historic Boston Marathon victory are nowhere to be found in the list of ESPY candidates!
What?!? That’s ridiculous!
Let me remind everyone that Keflezighi won the 2014 Boston Marathon a year after the race, the city, the country and the entire sporting world was turned upside down from the terrorist bombings that occurred at the finish line in 2013. He put the galvanizing touch on an emotional Boston Marathon weekend, one that started with a tribute to the three bomb victims and the slain police officer that died as a result of the 2013 atrocities. It wasn’t just that he won the race (which was truly amazing), it’s how he did it. Keflezighi was so moved by the emotional strain of what he witnessed in 2013 as a race spectator, that he ran with the names of those victims handwritten on his race bib and he even visited the family of slain 8-year-old Martin Richard in the days before the race.
(Update: At the ESPYS event on Wednesday night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Meb’s win was at least acknowledged in the pre-show video.)
RELATED: Meb’s Win Powerful On So Many Levels
Normally I wouldn’t waste my time banging the drum to get running any notoriety in the mainstream media, but this is different. His Boston Marathon win transcended running and transcended all of sports, inspiring people around the U.S. and around the world.
How was Keflezighi’s Boston Marathon victory not at least a finalist in the “Best Moment” category? As of now, the other candidates are Mario Rivera’s last game for the New York Yankees, the U.S. soccer team’s win over Ghana in the first round of the World Cup and Kevin Durant’s acceptance speech after winning the 2014 NBA MVP award. Touching moments all, but fairly tame compared to Meb’s special day that culminated with people cheering and openly sobbing as he approached the finish line on Boylston Street.
If Keflezighi had won the historic race in any other year, it probably still would have been worthy for an ESPYS Best Moment nomination. He became the first American man to win the race in 31 years. The fact that he won the race in a personal record time of 2:08:37 at age 38 is equally amazing and worthy of high praise.
PHOTOS: Meb Keflezighi Career Highlights
But Keflezighi isn’t even a candidate for Best Male Athlete alongside Peyton Manning, Miguel Cabrera, Floyd Mayweather and Kevin Durant. OK, those are great athletes who had pretty good years. Mayweather won a few more title bouts, but Manning, Cabrera and Durant didn’t lead their teams to any major championship in the past year.
The bottom line is that ESPN swung and missed on this one.
ESPN doesn’t cover the sport of running very much, so there’s no chance it’s going to add a Best Runner category to its category list. But there are 20 million active runners in the U.S. and I’d be willing to be that almost everyone of them (me included) was inspired by Meb’s magical moment.
Here’s a suggestion for ESPN to, at the very least, add a category of Best Endurance Sports Moment of the Year to next year’s ESPYS awards show.