It was fitting Hannah Storm delivered this eulogy, she’s probably among the best female sports reporters working today.
I am not sure when I first saw Stuart Scott on the evil empire. No, not the New York Yankees, I am talking about the sports network known as ESPN.
Quite honestly, I haven’t been watching ESPN as much as I used to when I was growing up when it was a new and exciting network in the 1980’s. However, Scott was one of the reasons I kept tuning in, especially when he was on Monday night countdown.
Scott wasn’t some old white guy with a country accent talking about sports (like a lot of the sports reporters across the country) at the time he debuted on ESPN in 1993. He was a young black man who was a fresh and vibrant personality that appealed to a broader and younger fan base. He was a trail blazer for black sportscasters. He incorporated cool phrases (kind of a hip hop reference) and the younger audience liked hearing them.
Some of them are:
“Cooler than the other side of the pillow.”
“BOOOO-YAH!!!” One of my all-time favorite expressions when a player scores a touchdown or a player dunks a basketball.
“He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin’ him to school.” This was something Scott thought up on the spur of the moment to describe a player dominating an opponent. When I first heard this, I couldn’t stop laughing. It was new and perfectly fit what Scott was all about.
There is no greater compliment than from your peers and people you reported on. They were flooding in Sunday morning after hearing the news.
Some of the best Tweets were:
His co-anchor at ESPN had one of the best Tweets. Scott Van Pelt: Stuart…Scott…Van Pelt. Man, we had fun out there. Crushed beyond description for all his families, including ours. RIP, my brother
Mike Tirico: For those of us who live using words, today there are none. Our prayers to all who were touched by Stuart Scott’s incredible love of life.
Jay Crawford: RIP Stu. You taught us how precious life is. Your fight was courageous. Purposeful. You were so talented. Gone way too soon. #stuartscott
Wendi Nix: Heavy heavy heart this morning. If you’re living, live! #StuartScott
Kobe Bryant: #StuartScottSayings changed the game #BOOYAH #donthatetheplayerhatethegame R.I.P to a sportscasting Legend
Sean May: Prayers go out to the Scott Family #StuartScott touched so many people and so many ways. #gonetoosoon #ESPN
Scott was at the ESPY’s and he died shortly after appearing, much like former North Carolina State coach and the inspirational Jimmy Valvano.
This news about Scott hit me a little harder (I was crying when I first found out) than it might most people because I know what it’s like to have a beloved family member fighting cancer.
I was adopted at around six months old by my parents, from the limited information I have my birth mother was quite young and didn’t want to struggle to provide a life for me.
My parents had two girls and wanted a boy. As a young child, I had a learning disability and couldn’t talk till I was almost three. My mom worked with me a lot and fostered my life long love of reading. I love both my parents, but my mom and I have a special connection, we both love reading and have a special affinity for movies.
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1990’s and she underwent treatment immediately through Kaiser Permanente. The five year “window” the doctors told us about passed and we assumed she was in the clear. That’s what I remember back then.
Fast forward many years and I received a text from my ex-wife that my mom’s cancer had returned. At the time, I was just returning to Los Angeles from the Midwest and I hadn’t been in contact with my family for several years. I won’t get into why on here, it doesn’t really matter, but it immediately brought back the shock and heartbreak I remember from hearing her initial diagnosis the first time.
She’s doing good and as well as can be expected, but she takes a lot of pills and the one thing I dread is getting that phone call. Those that have lost a family member to the dreaded C word know what I’m talking about.
She’s a strong woman and a Hell of fighter, but it’s never very far from your mind. She doesn’t know who Scott is, she isn’t a sports fan, but I’m convinced she would be a firm believer in his comments at the ESPY’s: “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.”
Hug your family and friends. It’s a cliche….but we aren’t promised tomorrow. And there’s no better time for living than the present.
RIP Stu, you’ll get your wings.
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