ESPN celebrates 22nd annual ESPYS

— -- 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.

•  Best Comeback Athlete:  Russell Westbrook, who missed two months because of a reinjured knee then returned to the  Thunder lineup to help Oklahoma City finish the season with a 59-23 record and the second seed in the Western Conference.

•  Best MLB Player:  Miguel Cabrera who became the first player in 19 years to win back-to-back AL MVP awards while earning his third consecutive batting title with a career-best .348 average.

•  Best NBA Player:  Kevin Durant, who in his MVP season led the league in scoring with 32 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. He surpassed Michael Jordan's record for most consecutive games scoring at least 25 points with 41.

Best NHL Player:  Sidney Crosby, who led the NHL with 104 points on the season, including a league-high 68 assists, 17 points ahead of his closest competitor.

•  Best Fighter: Floyd Mayweather Jr., who cruised to a majority decision over Saul Alvarez to unify the light middleweight titles, then improved to a record of 46-0 with a decisive win over Marcos Maidana.

•  Best Driver:  Ryan Hunter-Reay, who became the first American to win the Indianapolis 500 since 2006.

•  Best International Athlete: Cristiano Ronaldo, the star forward for Portugal and Real Madrid scored 66 goals in 56 games on his way to winning FIFA's Ballon d'Or Award as World Player of the Year.

Best Male College Athlete:  Doug McDermott, winner of the Wooden, U.S. Basketball Writers Association and AP Player of the Year awards who led the country in scoring, averaging 26.7 points per game on 52.6 percent shooting from the field.

•  Best Female College Athlete: Breanna Stewart, the Naismith Trophy winner and AP National Player of the Year who averaged 19.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists to lead UConn to a perfect 40-0 record and NCAA title.

•  Best Male Tennis Player: Rafael Nadal, who racked up a total of 10 ATP tournament wins, including both the French and U.S. Opens, ending the year with the No. 1 ranking.

•  Best Female Tennis Player: Maria Sharapova, who won the 2014 French Open crown. It was her third consecutive French final and her second title.

Best Male Golfer:  Bubba Watson, who earned his second green jacket, taking the 2014 Masters title.

Best Female Golfer: Michelle Wie, who earned her first career LPGA major title by taking the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst.

•  Best WNBA Player: Maya Moore, who led the Minnesota Lynx to the WNBA championship by averaging 20 points, 6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the Finals.

•  Best MLS Player: Tim Cahill, who led Red Bull scoring with 11 goals, five of them game-winners.

•  Best Male U.S. Olympian: Sage Kotsenburg, the snowboarder who threw down a fearless and unmatched first run in the slopestyle final to win the gold medal and become the first Olympic champion of the Sochi Games.

•  Best Female U.S. Olympian, Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Jamie Anderson, who scored a near-perfect 95.25 on her final run to win the inaugural women's snowboard slopestyle at the Sochi Olympics.

•  Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Nyjah Huston who successfully defended his 2013 Skateboard Street title with a gold medal X Games Austin 2014.

•  Best Bowler: Pete Weber, who won the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions to become the first bowler to complete the PBA Triple Crown for a second time.

•  Best Jockey: Victor Espinoza, who rode California Chrome to victory in both the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

•  Best Male Athlete with Disability: Declan Farmer, the 16-year-old who helped the U.S. defeat Russia for the sled hockey gold medal at the 2014 Winter Paralympics.

•  Best Female Athlete with Disability: Jamie Whitmore, who won gold medals in the time trial and pursuit events with world-record times at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.