"The ESPYS" always have been one of those events few people admit to watching - and then everyone seems to talk about anyway.

But never before have so many watched AND talked about them as this past week, when a move from ESPN to ABC - and an appearance by Caitlyn Jenner - caused viewership to more than triple compared with last year.

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You have to give ESPN credit, even if it could not have anticipated Twitter when Jimmy Valvano took the stage at that first ceremony at the Garden in 1993.

The show mostly is designed to fill a lull in the calendar - first in February, more recently in July - and promote the ESPN brand, along with a strong charitable component. But now, after 23 editions, it has found a new sweet spot in the social media era.

Make fun of it all you want, but the event dominated sports websites, radio and TV talk shows and actual human conversations well past the end of Wednesday night's show. And it was not only because of Caitlyn Jenner.