Cartoon Network's second annual Hall of Game Awards had a circus-like atmosphere, complete with gymnasts, stunt-performing BMXers, and host Shaquille O'Neal making an entrance on a zip line. It also had lively performances by Flo Rida and Hot Chelle Rae; pro athletes from a wide variety of sports, there to present and accept awards voted on by kids; and an excited contingent of teen stars eager to meet their favorite players, some of whom told us how they live green.
Soccer star David Beckham, recipient of the Icon Award, talked about recycling at home. "It's very important for our family, and honestly, everybody," said the father of four, who's thrilled to have a daughter in the family after three sons. As someone who's "always loved coaching kids, it's one of my passions, to be able to come down and receive an award that is voted by the kids and the fans," he sad. He admitted that his boys ribbed him about his new underwear ad for H&M. "'There's Daddy in underpants on big billboards.' Yeah, they gave me a little bit of flak for that. But they're very proud of it," he said.
Hope Solo of the U.S. women's soccer team (and "Dancing With the Stars"), who got the She Got Game Award, said that being from eco-friendly Seattle, "We always recycle." Reflecting on her success, she said, "I believe in embracing who you are and celebrating that," said Solo, who advised would-be athletes to "embrace the passion inside of you, embrace who you are and keep trudging on."
"We have a bin for paper, plastic and bottles and another for regular trash," said avid recycler Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons, who presented the Dancing Machine award to the New York Giants' Victor Cruz, also the recipient, along with teammates Michael Boley and Hakeem Nicks, of the Sickest Showdown award for winning Super Bowl XLVI.
Performers Hot Chelle Rae, now touring in support of their album "Whatever" and new single "Honestly," said they recycle and try to keep waste down on the road, and shop at local and sustainable markets like Whole Foods.
"We're doing a kitchen remodel at our house and we're focusing on a lot of Energy Star appliances. Our kitchen's about 20 years old so it's time to upgrade and make it a little more eco and economically friendly," said "iCarly" star Nathan Kress, a sports fan, but admittedly not a great player. "I'm probably worst at basketball," he confided. Conversely, his co-star Jennette McCurdy is "great at basketball, but I couldn't hit a baseball if my life depended on it." She does her green part by taking a reusable bag to the grocery store. "It's such an easy thing to do, I think everyone can do it," she said. Eager to meet Shaq and check out his size 22 shoes, McCurdy mentioned upcoming '80s flashback and "Goodfellas" homage episodes of "iCarly" and her projects outside of it. She has a single out, "Generation Love," with a digital album release to follow, and has a development deal for her own series after "iCarly" ends.
"Pair of Kings" star Adam Hicks has been "taking shorter showers and skateboarding to the store instead of driving," and Rico Rodriguez is saving water by taking short showers and turning off the water when he brushes his teeth. The "Modern Family" star served as Shaq's sidekick during the show, at one point harnessed to fly up to a 30' high hoop to dunk a basketball. The program also included a taped message from First Lady Michelle Obama, as part of her Let's Move! initiative to encourage kids to participate in sports.
The Hall of Game Awards will be rebroadcast on Cartoon Network Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. and Feb. 26 at noon.
Photos courtesy Cartoon Network
McCurdy photo: Gerri Miller