Grabbing the Gold: Five Most Sought After Sports Awards

If you were to win a major sports award, which one would it be? With literally hundreds to chose from, in nearly as many categories, it might be a difficult choice. It isn’t uncommon for a country to have a national sport and sports award. Something inside of us revels at a fair contest between strong players. We love to root for our favorites, and denounce the opposition. Sporting contests are deeply entrenched in our modern society, a remnant of the ancient Roman games. In a recent topic on ESPN’s site, Jim Caple, considers what the top fifty most sought after sports awards would be in The 50 Most Coveted Trophies and Awards in Sports. Taking a cue from Caple, we have created our own list of five most sought after sports awards.

High School Letterman Jacket

While it isn’t a national honor, it is an honor we celebrate across the nation. Getting a letter jacket in high school is some teens dream about, as tradition mandates that the best athletes are awarded them. The jackets are so popular that some are sold without the letter, which is the real award. No matter which sport the award recipient letters in, it is the ultimate symbol of high school athletic prowess.

Since their inception, the letterman jacket–or sweater–has long been the symbol of achievement for high school athletes. So much envy is sparked as these jackets make their way down crowded high school halls, that they are often appointed another function, to be worn by beaming girlfriends letting everyone know she’s his.

Football Awards

In a sport that has 26 pages of awards listed in Wikipedia, there are many more hopefuls than recipients. Perhaps the most recognized award for a player is the Heisman Trophy, an award for the most outstanding college football player, as well as being a player who exemplifies integrity. Win this bad boy, and you are practically assured a spot on an NFL team. At the professional level, the Super Bowl win is the holy grail of football awards. Along with the Lombardi trophy, winning players get a tidy chunk of change–92 thousand each in 2014,and the iconic Super Bowl ring. Even the losers of the Super Bowl are winners and get a paycheck of about half that of their winning counterparts.

The Final Four

Eagerly anticipated, especially by Kansas–after all the inventor of basketball, James Naismith, founded Kansas University’s basketball program, served as athletic director, and became a US citizen in Lawrence, KS. The teams that make it to the Final Four playoff championship have the opportunity to battle it out for the number one spot. Not surprisingly, KU often wins the Midwest regional championship and must play either the East, West, or South Regional Championship winner at teh start of the tournament. The winning team is allowed to cut down the net as a symbol of their win, and players are often drafted by the NBA.

The Stanley Cup

The most coveted prize in ice hockey is the famous Stanley Cup. Interestingly, this prized trophy is not kept by the winning team, only awarded for one day, during which time, the most typical team activity is drinking champagne from the silver cup. The winners also receive rings, but it is their time with the cup that they treasure. The winning team, their names, and the year are engraved on one of the five silver bands. Eventually, the band will be removed from the cup and placed in the NHL Hall Of Fame, and its place will be taken by fresh new players of tomorrow.

Olympic Gold

Undeniably an award familiar to most, winning Olympic Gold is a lifelong dream for some athletes. To the select few that have the drive, the stamina, and the ambition, training for the Olympics is a primary focus from a very young age. Athletes of all sorts converge on the Mecca event every four years, hoping to be the one that brings the honor of winning a gold medal home to their country. For some, it is equivalent to becoming a national hero. A culmination of investment, sweat, pain and sacrifice. For others, those that carry home silver or bronze, it is a moment to recommit until the next round, or to go home second best, yet honored to be among the best athletes in the world.



Grammy Award Legends

Although there are numerous musical industry awards, for some artists, the Grammy is the most anticipated awards ceremony of the year. Simply being nominated is a win in and of its own, as it grants artists an invitation to the swankiest party that celebrates the talents of each nominee. The glitz and glamor of stars arriving in limos, walking the red carpet in their most exquisite or attention getting attire, is excitedly received by eager onlookers. Remember 2010 and Lady Gaga’s Giorgio Armani Prive gown that resembled a trip through the stars? Or her excellent 2011 Egg Entrance, for Born This Way. These artists are showman and some, the legends, put songs in our hearts that will last forever.

Posthumous Grammy Awards

John Lennon
Many artists have passed over, deserving recognition for the contributions. The Grammies have awarded such individuals posthumously. Most notable, in 1982, John Lennon was awarded Best Album of the Year for his last recording, Double Fantasy, in which he created a moving tribute to love, fatherhood and the passage of time. In 1991 Lennon was honored with an individual Lifetime Achievement Award. Lennon was again honored posthumously in 2014 when the Beatles were collectively awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ray Charles
In 2005, when Ray Charles was nominated, he won in eight categories. The entire ceremony was, in fact, a tribute to him, a celebration of his unique voice, that was somehow smooth with a touch of grit, just enough to give him character. In 1987, Charles was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award while still living.

Amy Winehouse
One of the saddest posthumous awards went to Amy Winehouse, in 2012 for her duet with Tony Bennett, Body and Soul, under the category: Best Performance By a Duo or Group. Whitney Houston was recognized during the event. In 2013, Whitney Houston was honored by being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Steve Jobs
Perhaps the most surprising posthumous award was given to Steve Jobs, who was honored with the Grammy Trustees Award. The award recognizes significant contributions to the music industry. Jobs was honored for the iPod and iTunes.

Pandit Ravi Shankar
Pandit Ravi Shankar, infamous musical Guru to the Beatles and outstanding Sitarist was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, nearly 60 days after he passed at the age of 92.

Grammy Winners Record Holders

Top 20 Most Wins
So who holds the record for the most Grammy wins? The answer might surprise you. Number one with 31 wins, Classical Conductor known for his intensity,Georg Solti, has won the most Grammies. U2 and Stevie Wonder share spot number six, each with a respectable 22 wins. Paul McCartney has 18 Grammy wins and is number 17, and the last spot in the Top 20 is shared by Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Beyoncé and Yo Yo Ma with 17 wins.

The Most Wins in One Night
The King of Pop, Micheal Jackson, retains the honor for most wins in one night. He went home with eight awards, after being nominated for twelve in 1984, with his classic, Thriller. In 2000, Santana tied his record. He is still the solo artist with the most wins in an evening. The record hasn’t been broken, although BeyoncĂ© and Adele came close with six wins in 2010 and 2012 respectively.



Academy Awards

The Oscars is a wonderful night filled with laughs, tears, clapping and a surprise or two. Those who have been bestowed the dubious of honor of hosting the Oscars are an elite club of respected performers. Speeches of gratitude fill the evening, interviews are given as we celebrate the best in films, movies, documentary films, and Indies. Those in the film industry that are honored with an Oscar, have won one of the hardest thing to get, the admiration of your peers. Winners are awarded the most coveted award in the film industry, the iconic statue, Oscar, which cost approximately $400.00 to make. While the recipients don’t win anything else, the award helps significantly with a winners paycheck. Having that stamp of approval translates to job offers of endorsements, interviews, film and more, all at a higher pay rate. With awards in 24 categories, all aspects of the film industry are recognized:actors, directors, cinematographers, sound artists, make-up artists, editors, writers, and more. Televisions will be tuned in to enjoy the black tie event, hoping their favorite will take home the most loved little man in Hollywood, Oscar.

Familiar Award Categories

Best Picture
There is no set number of nominees for this award because the nominees are selected using a preferential voting system The number of nominees had been five, then in 2010 and 2011, it was raised to ten, now under this system, there are from five to ten nominees allowed, depending on voting results. So many wonderful films hold the honor of Best Picture. Some of the more memorable titles include; The African Queen(1951), Dead Poets Society(1989), Forrest Gump(1994) and Ghandi(1988).

Best Actress in a Leading Role
One of the most followed awards is Best Actress. With only five nominees, most hopeful actresses feel the pain of the snub rather than the thrill of recognition. Those blessed to enter the nominee club must support the chosen one, and clap with sincerity as the winner makes her acceptance speech.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
It seems to be obligatory to nominate Meryl Streep, since her performances are so magnificent she easily earns her space. Whether it be for leading or supportive, one almost expects her to take the award. Streep has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Into the Woods, one among five.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Some notable winners of Best Actor in a Leading Role, include Adrian Brody for The Pianist, Dustin Hoffman for Rainman and Anthony Hopkins for Silence of the Lambs and Ben Kingsley for Ghandi. There are five nominees for this category.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Landing the Oscar for best Supporting Actor can help not only your career, but also your little black book. The five nominees for this category worked diligently to inspire audiences without over shadowing the lead.

Best Animated Film
One of the most difficult may be for best Animated Film. Animated films that are family oriented and filled with double entendres to keep the adults entertained often compete against films with scripts as mature and beautiful as the animation. Additionally, all types of animation are included in the category. Some of the films are so vastly different from their fellow nominees, it is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. However, the category must be filled with only five nominees and in the end, only one winner. The first winner for Best Animated Feature was awarded in 2001 for Shrek. In 2002, a breakthrough artist, Hayao Miyazaki garnered the award for his classic anime, Spirited Away. As artists push the limits of technology and animation, audiences enjoy an ever increasing quality in Animated films. Perhaps the possibility of winning an Academy Award for their colorful masterpiece, has encouraged the advancement of animated feature films.