Sitting in my living room yesterday morning watching ESPN’s tribute to beloved anchor Stuart Scott, I couldn’t hold my emotion in check any longer. Usually I keep my feelings inward, but I have come to realize that when something is truly meaningful to me, I’m very passionate and emotional.
As Robin Roberts finished narrating the beautiful piece, tears streamed down my face and I put my head down and sobbed. I was thinking back to my days as a young kid watching SportsCenter with Stuart Scott.
I would tip-toe downstairs early in the morning to avoid waking my mother who disallowed television in those days. If I was undetected, I’d flip to ESPN and hope Stuart Scott was anchoring SportsCenter.
When I think back, he is certainly one of the inspirations behind my love for sports and why I wanted to be involved in the industry. He made ESPN fun to watch with his confident yet humble persona, creativity and lexicon. His phrase ‘cool as the other side of the pillow,’ was brilliant.
Yet he wasn’t overbearing or showboating. He gave you the important information but did it with flair. This unique approach propelled him to stardom and made him the broadcasting icon that he is now to so many of us.
As his body was ravaged by cancer, he continued to fight using MMA training to take his mind off of his courageous battle, as depicted in this fabulous New York Times article from last March.
As his death became public, the outpouring support for Stuart was overwhelming, including statements from his colleagues, athletes and President Obama. I nodded and then laughed along with Dwyane Wade at this clip:
And this commercial with Stuart and Kenny Mayne coaching up rookies Kobe Bryant and Keyshawn Johnson on how to deal with the media:
My fond feelings and memories of watching and listening to Stuart are the norm. He had an enormous impact on a generation of youngsters because he stuck to his blueprint and did not waver among critics. As Dan Patrick said in the ESPN tribute, we will continue to see his impact through those who try to emulate his style.
Thank you Stuart for being a true trailblazer, brightening our mornings, evenings and nights with your energy, and for setting an example that being true to yourself is the most important trait to have.