Remembering Stuart Scott
The day before we heard the news of the passing of Stuart Scott, one of ESPN’s most respected and beloved anchors, I had a conversation with my brother in law about Scott’s condition while watching football with my family.
‘Have you heard anything about Stu?’ & ‘I hope to see him back soon’ were the general topics of discussion. Of course, we then proceeded to quote his Sportscenter commercials and throw around some BOO YAHs without having the knowledge of what we would hear Sunday morning.
The timing of our conversation was coincidental and unfortunate, but it demonstrates how close we as fans felt to Stuart Scott.
For most of us, Scott was more than an anchor and a television personality. During a period in his career, he was one of a handful of people on ESPN that changed the way we watched sports highlights. His emphatic delivery and poetic catch phrases became the only way I wanted to revisit sports highlights. I’d bet I’m not alone in saying that there were times when I would even tune in to see Stuart Scott recap a game that I had watched every minute of because he was so entertaining and charismatic.
At my school, phrases like “You Ain’t Gotta Go Home, But You Gotta Get The Heck Outta Here” and “Just call him butter ’cause he’s on a roll” became regular verbiage in everything from basketball games to spelling bees. Sports anchors like Scott didn’t normally transcend into pop culture icons, but that is what he quickly became with young sports fans.
This holds true even with others who work in sports. I still remember the first time I saw a local anchor yell “Boo Yah” during a highlight. I just shook my head and said out loud “You’re not nearly as cool as the other side of the pillow.” To this day, I doubt you could find a sports reporter or anchor whose career has not been influenced by Scott in some way.
During a different period in his life, Stu became an inspiration to the World while being diagnosed with cancer on three separate occasions. Scott battled cancer with the same amazing attitude and charisma that he always brought to the World with anything that he did. Although it is impossible to put into words what his actions did for those going through a similar fight, you could say that his spirit gave strength to those who didn’t know they had it within themselves. To see him laugh and smile and give words of encouragement while going through his own struggle with cancer meant so much to so many.
This year in June, he was selected as the anchor everyone wanted to see co host the first new Sportscenter from ESPN’s Digital Center 2, and he did it with the same flair and style that he has always brought to sports.
At the ESPY’s in July, Stu was honored with the Jim Valvano Award for Perserverance. While delivering his speech, Scott once again found a way to poetically change the lives of many with his words. “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
Scott did exactly that with the way he lived his life and the joy he brought to this World. He beat cancer.
On Sunday January 4th 2015, Stuart Scott passed away. He was 49.
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