Awards shows are the kudzu of Hollywood. Now the overgrowth has spread to the sports world. If you're having trouble keeping track of all the dinner-jacketed jocks—couldn't they put numbers on those tuxes?—check out our guide to the festivities.
THE MLB PLAYERS CHOICE AWARDS
Official description: "To recognize the season's top performers, both on and off the field, as voted upon by all major league players." In other words: Who needs sportswriters? Most recent ceremony: Nov. 3 in Las Vegas. Host: Actor Robert Wuhl (Arli$$). Celeb presence: Danny Glover, Rob Reiner, Chuck D. Marquee award: Player of the Year (2000 recipient: Carlos Delgado; Man of the Year Eric Davis shown at right). Trophy: An engraved crystal slab. Could be mistaken for: A bookend.
THE VICTOR AWARDS
Official description: " America's longest-running nationally televised sports awards show, benefitting the City of Hope National Medical Center." In other words: We were here before the Espys! Pay attention! Most recent ceremony: July 8 in Las Vegas. Host: None. Celeb presence: Vanna White, Dyan Cannon, Carrot Top. Marquee award: Athlete of the Year (2000 recipient: Shaquille O'Neal). Trophy: A statuette of an athlete holding a laurel wreath. Could be mistaken for: Any number of items on eBay.
THE LAUREUS SPORTS AWARDS
Official description: "A worldwide celebration for sporting excellence covering all sports disciplines across all continents." In other words: We want to give soccer players shiny prizes too. Most recent ceremony: May 26 in Monaco. Hosts: Jeff Bridges, Ashley Judd and Dylan McDermott. Celeb presence: Sylvester Stallone, Goldie Hawn, Nelson Mandela. Marquee award: World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year (2000 recipients: Tiger Woods and Marion Jones). Trophy: A statuette of an athlete with arms raised in victory. Could be mistaken for: A TV antenna.
Official description: "Created by ESPN and given for Excellence in Sports Performance." In other words: You're watching us anyway, you might as well watch this. Most recent ceremony: Feb. Win Las Vegas. Host: Jimmy Smits. Celeb presence: Cybill Shepherd, Joe Pesci, James Caan. Marquee award: Male and Female Athletes of the Year (2000 recipients: Tiger Woods and Mia Hamm). Trophy: An engraved crystal prism. Could be mistaken for: Er, an engraved crystal prism.
THE WORLD SPORTS AWARDS
Official description: "To celebrate and honor outstanding athletes in all fields." In other words: Originality is not our forte. Upcoming ceremony: Jan. 16, 2001 in London. Host: Roger Moore. Celeb presence: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Buzz Aldrin. Marquee award: At last year's inaugural ceremony, Muhammad Ali was named Boxer of the Century. Trophy: A crystal dove perched atop a crystal bush. Could be mistaken for: A Christmas tree topper.