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Jocks go Hollywood

Espy kudos take over the Kodak Theater

HOLLYWOOD — The sports world played on the Oscars’ home court July 10 when ESPN’s 10th annual Espy Awards went out live from the Kodak Theater.

On hand for the Highlands club after-party was ESPN correspondent Chris Connelly who described the kudocast as “swanky — a luxe jocks kind of event.” As for the two-hour, 11-minute show, ICM’s Nicole Clemens said, “The Oscars could learn a lot about brevity and booty from this.”

Penny Marshall was scouring the Highlands with baseball and pen in hand for Joe Morgan. Though the helmer/actress lamented the decline in sports star penmanship (“The old guys you could read a mile away; the new guys you need a label”), she was determined to get the Hall of Famer’s signature for her grandson.

“What else am I going to give him?” Marshall said, ” ‘Laverne & Shirley’ pictures?”

ESPN prexy George Bodenheimer said he wanted the event “to be a serious recognition of the most important sports events of the year mixed with a fun evening. That’s the Holy Grail for the Espys.”

Among those on hand were ESPN’s Ed Erhardt, Sean Bratches, Mark Shapiro and Maura Mandt; host Samuel L. Jackson; plus guests Joe Frazier, Tim Allen, Dennis Franz, Marshall Faulk, Barry Bonds, Matthew Perry, Carlos Santana, David Spade, Jeff Goldblum, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams and Cal Ripkin Jr.

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