By Ellen Chlumecky
On Sunday, January 4th, the sports world lost another talented man: Stuart Scott. Scott died at the age of 49, losing his battle to cancer. Scott went into remission in early 2012, but he was again diagnosed with cancer on January 14, 2013. He was also suffering from liver complications and kidney failure. His death was a huge loss to the sports community. His contributions to the sports world were nothing short of exceptional and dynamic. Scott had such a passion for sports and inspired so many others with his talent, work ethic, and devotion.
One of the reasons Stuart Scott was such an inspiration to so many is because of his overall presentation. While Scott was certainly not the first black sportscasters, he presented himself with the confidence as if he was. He talked about his personal experiences that a white sportscaster might not have had. His fellow colleagues expressed how he brought “soul” to the show and how he brought a different beat to every thing he did. He brought his own stories to the table and it started to cover a bigger demographic that wasn’t always being covered. He related well with many black athletes and a majority of them felt more comfortable because he related to them on many different levels.
Bringing his own personality to the show was just one minor break through Scott made on ESPN. With his clever catchphrases, Scott showed ESPN that he was in it for the long haul. Especially with his catchphrase, “Boo-yah” people were hooked on Scott wondering what he was going to come up with next. His charm beamed from him and all of his colleagues knew he was someone special.
Obviously his colleagues were not the only ones who saw something special in him. As a combination of his long-lasting battle with cancer and his perseverance, he received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYS in July. Scott humbly accepted and made it known to the audience that he was not a hero, he just chose not to live around his cancer.
Twitter this morning was blown up with the mass amount of condolences for Scott and his family. Athletes like Johnny Manziel, Patrick Peterson, Mike Adams, Daniel Meadows, Nick Moody, and many others took to Twitter to express their heartfelt condolences and love of Scott. Even some celebrities such as Carson Daly, Rob Riggle, and Josh Gad talked about his legacy. Even President Obama talked about the tremendous impact Scott had on the sports world and what a loss his death is to so many people. ESPN dedicated their shows tonight to him and his family.
In the words of Stuart Scott: “When you die, it does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” While he may be gone, he will continue to be an inspiration for so many anchors and aspiring sportscasters. So many people my age looked up to him and aspire to be as dynamic as him. He presented himself professionally but was so charismatic and enjoyable to watch. In our hearts, he will always be “as cool as the other side of the pillow.”
While I am not the biggest fan of ESPN, Scott was a reporter I truly respected and genuinely enjoyed watching. He spoke with such eloquence that made me see him as more than just someone relaying statistics. The world lost not only an amazing sportscaster, but a powerful writer, which in this day and age is something we need more than ever.