OK, this post’s going to be tough to write, so bear with me here.
For 21 years, ESPN viewers counted on a sportscaster with a unique brand of wit, personality, and sense of humor to entertain and inform them on the latest scores and highlights on the day’s biggest events every night on SportsCenter.
That man was Stuart Scott, a 21-year veteran of ESPN and SportsCenter. Eight years ago, Scott first endured the battle that was tougher than any sporting event he covered over the two decades at ESPN: cancer. Scott was fortunate enough to overcome his fights with cancer, doing so on three occasions.
Unfortunately, though, Scott couldn’t hang in there for a fourth victory over the dreaded disease. Earlier Sunday, Scott, a 49-year-old native of Chicago, passed away from the ailment in Avon, Connecticut.
In his two decades of service to The Worldwide Leader in Sports, Scott provided a bevy of catchphrases to the sports world, many of which have since entered the present lexicon, such as “Boo-yah!”, “He’s as cool as the other side of the pillow,” and”Holla at a playa when you see him in the street.”
Those catchphrases are what made Stuart Scott so unique as a broadcaster and what made him an absolute joy to watch over the years. When word of his passing spread earlier this morning, tributes up and down the sports and media world began to pour in, the most poignant of which came from NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, Scott’s former SportsCenter co-anchor.
After analyzing the Detroit/Dallas NFC Wild Card Game with the rest of the NFL GameDay Morning panel, Eisen took time out to deliver the news that Scott had passed on, shedding tears over his fallen colleague’s death. Here is that on-air tribute from this morning’s pregame show: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-gameday/0ap3000000453849/Rich-Eisen-remembers-Stuart-Scott
ESPN itself released a 15-minute video honoring Scott’s legacy, narrated by former SportsCenter and current Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, herself a cancer survivor. Much like Eisen’s tribute to Scott, hers is also very well done.
Stuart Scott’s Legacy
Even President Barack Obama weighed in on Stuart Scott’s legacy, saying “I will miss Stuart Scott. Twenty years ago, Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays. For much of those twenty years, public service and campaigns have kept me from my family – but wherever I went, I could flip on the TV and Stu and his colleagues on SportsCenter were there. Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us – with courage and love. Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues.” That’s how much he was loved by people across the nation.
Growing up, when I had a lousy day at school, I’d often go home at night, retreat to my room, turn on SportsCenter, and just sit there and watch Stuart Scott and his colleagues deliver the best damn possible hour of television, and you know what? My day wasn’t lousy anymore.
Scott wasn’t limited to SportsCenter. Throughout his years at ESPN, he was also a co-anchor and substitute host on NFL Primetime and NFL Countdown, in addition to being the full-time Primetime host in 2006, when the show moved to Monday nights prior to Monday Night Football coverage. He’d also host Monday Night Countdown as either the studio host or on-site host for much of its run, as well as ESPN’s NBA coverage.
Stuart Scott was a credit to sportscasters everywhere, both current and aspiring. I would have liked to meet him, but unfortunately I now know that I will never get that chance. Stuart Scott was taken from us way too soon. He’ll be missed by sports fans everywhere. May he rest in peace, and may God bless him.
Stuart Orlando Scott
July 19, 1965-January 4, 2015