Earlier this morning, the sports world was shook about the news of legendary ESPN anchor Stuart Scott passing away at age 49.
Scott was battling a rare form of appendix cancer for 7 years, but used this challenge to inspire many others through similar struggles — whether cancer or not. By all accounts, Scott attacked cancer with a positive attitude and hard work, with the chief motivation of his 2 daughters keeping him going everyday.
At this past summer’s ESPYS, Stuart Scott was honored with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and delivered one of the most moving speeches in the distinguished history of this Award.
You see, in his own words, he didn’t lose to cancer. And as Hannah Storm emotionally delivered the news of Scott’s passing this morning, she said he didn’t lose to cancer… we just lost Stuart.
Throughout the day, I’ve seen countless tributes, stories, and salutes to Stuart Scott from his colleagues and fans of his work alike. Each one is as stirring as the next and I can’t help but echo the sentiment of my generation in the wake of the news.
Stuart Scott was SportsCenter.
His distinct style brought the hip hop culture and authenticity into the program and appealed to adolescents like myself in the mid-90s. Through his own shining example of authenticity, Stuart Scott rose to the top of sports journalism, interviewing the likes of President Obama, Clinton, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and countless others while hosting more ESPN programs in addition to SC.
The mini-documentary by ESPN below is also a testament to Stuart Scott as a person. The genuine emotion and reflections from his colleagues certainly reflect the genuineness that defined Scott as an individual. Watching and seeing all these tributes today makes me feel his passing a little more but also appreciates the breadth of the impact he’s had on sports journalism, that Dan Patrick is correct in saying, may still not be fully realized until 5, 10 years from now.
Lastly, the other must-see tribute to Scott was by his longtime partner Rich Eisen who broke the news this morning on the NFL Network. Holding back tears, an emotional Eisen saluted his partner so wonderfully. This had a great impact on me as that’s how I was first introduced to Scott and Eisen. I remember during my summer breaks from school watching the 9am SportsCenter… followed by the 10am SportsCenter again just so I can re-watch both of their catchphrases on the night’s baseball highlights. They, and Stuart specifically, helped me to love sports more during my formative years. I join the millions of others today in prayers and positive thoughts for Stuart Scott, his family, friends, colleagues, and everyone he has touched throughout his life. Rest in Power, Stuart Scott.
UPDATE: Rich Eisen delivered the highlights of Bengals-Colts by including numerous catchphrases from Stuart Scott. It was as perfect as it sounds.