ESPN celebrates 22nd annual ESPYS

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The 22nd annual ESPYS in Los Angeles kicked off Wednesday night with  Richard Sherman of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks winning the ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete.

ESPN's annual sports awards show, which celebrates the year's best athletes and moments in sports, is being hosted by recording artist Drake, who took shots at some of the world's top athletes during his opening monologue, including Sherman,  Johnny Manziel, and  Lance Stephenson who earlier Wednesday signed a free-agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets.

The ESPY for Best Record-Breaking Performance went to quarterback Peyton Manning who set records for most touchdown passes (55) and most passing yards (5,477) in a season, leading the Denver Broncos to 13-3 record and a berth in Super Bowl  XLVIII. Manning, who won his fifth MVP award this past season, also won the ESPY for Best NFL Player.

The ESPY for Best Play went to  Auburn's Chris Davis who returned a missed field-goal attempt 109 yards to give the Tigers a 34-28 upset victory over  Alabama in the Iron Bowl -- the ESPY winner  for Best Game.

Mixed martial artist  Ronda Rousey  won the ESPY for Best Female Athlete for her continuing her dominance of Ultimate Fighting. She extended her unbeaten record to 10 with a submission victory over Miesha Tate at UFC 168, a TKO against Sara McMann at UFC 170 and she  needed only 16 seconds to put away No. 1 contender Alexis Davis at UFC 175 this past Saturday.

Michael Sam of the St. Louis Ramswho in May became the first openly gay football player to be selected in the NFL draft, received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. 

Josh Sweeney, who scored the winning goal for the U.S. Paralympic sled hockey team that beat the Russians in the gold medal game in Sochi earlier this year, won the inaugural Pat Tillman Award for Service.  Tillman died in action in Afghanistan in 2004 after leaving the  Arizona Cardinals  to enlist in the U.S. Army.

Fan voting, conducted online, was based on performances spanning the past 12 months.

Other winners included:

•  Best Moment: The U.S. men's soccer team defeating Ghana 2-1 in it's opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After Ghana tied the game, 21-year-old defender John Brooks headed in a goal off a Graham Zusi corner kick in the 86th minute for the game-winning goal.

•  Best Upset: Mercer, the 14th-seeded Bears toppled third-seeded Duke, 78-71, in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

•  Best Coach/Manager: Gregg Popovich, who led the  San Antonio Spurs to a league-best 62-20 regular-season record and their fifth NBA championship, earning his third coach of the year award.

•  Best Championship PerformanceKawhi Leonard who led the Spurs past Miami in the NBA Finals, averaging 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds on 61 percent shooting. He exploded in the last three games of the series, scoring 71 points on 24-for-35 shooting.

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