Before starting training camp next week, the Ravens have one more celebration of their Super Bowl season to attend.
Several members of the organization will be on hand tonight at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles for the ESPY Awards, ESPN’s annual sports awards show.
The Ravens, who won their second title with a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, are nominated in the “best team” category. Their competition is the University of Alabama football team, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Miami Heat, the San Francisco Giants, the University of Oklahoma softball team and U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team.
After completing 22-of-33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns in the Super Bowl, quarterback Joe Flacco is in the running for “best championship performance.” He’ll be up against NBA Finals MVP LeBron James, Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval.
The Ravens’ 38-35 double-overtime victory over the Denver Broncos in an AFC divisional playoff game will vie for “best game” with the Boston Bruins’ Game 7 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Heat’s Game 6 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.
Running back Ray Rice’s catch-and-run on 4th-and -29 in the Ravens’ 16-13 win over the San Diego Chargers – one of the defining plays of the NFL season – is also part of the bracket to decide the “best play” of the year.
Flacco and wide receiver Torrey Smith have been in Los Angeles the past couple of days and will attend the ESPYs. The team’s web site also said that retired linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receiver Jacoby Jones and tight end Dennis Pitta will represent the Ravens at the event. Veteran safety James Ihedigbo has also tweeted about being in California and attending the awards show.
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie wrote on his Twitter account that he will not attend, opting to stay on his workout program in Florida.
The show will start at 9 p.m. and be hosted by actor Jon Hamm.