Sideline Report: The impact of Stuart Scott

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The world of sports journalism lost a great member this past weekend. The news of the death of Stuart Scott at age 49 due to his rare form of cancer rocked fans and media alike. The ESPN Sportscenter anchor worked for the network from 1993 to present day and transformed how we view sports. From his clever catch phrases to his excellent coverage on Monday Night Football, NBA and sports in general, Scott took sports coverage  to a new level.

I obviously didn’t personally know the man. Although, heartfelt speeches from ESPN’s Michael Wilbon and former ESPN employee, now NFL Network host Rich Eisen have shown how great of a man Scott was. As stories of his love for his two daughters Taelor and Sydni and his empowering smile everyday were shared, the day was made even more tragic. Scott touched many lives throughout his tenure at the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” and his seven year battle with cancer was well documented. The man fought the disease three different times and never gave up hope for the future. He wanted to be there for his family and give his all for his day job. Stuart Scott was one of the best journalists that the sports world has ever seen and ESPN will feel this for years to come.

Scott’s reach was made even more evident by the remembrance on social media, ranging from LeBron James to Barack Obama, as fond memories were recalled. Scott’s memory and legacy will be remembered as one of the greats due to his charisma and likability.  Scott never failed to make the highlights and his in-depth interviews always interesting. He was always putting forth his utmost effort and passion towards every event he covered whether it be the NBA Finals or some random NFL game. Scott was a true professional and always seemed like he could relate to just about anyone he met.

But one specific moment that Stuart Scott will always be remembered for took place on July 16, 2014 in the Nokia Theatre. This was the night of the 2014 ESPYS, which is basically ESPN’s version of the Oscars. An annual award that is given is the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. It goes to an individual in the sports world that has battled adversity and come back stronger. Last year’s recipient was Stuart Scott, who looked thin yet strong and confident as he walked up onto the stage to accept his award. His impassioned speech that followed will be remembered for years to come. The line that I and many others took to heart spoke about how Scott viewed beating cancer. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live,” Scott said. Another lasting mark he left while here with us.

Stuart Scott will be remembered by all as not only one of the first African-American ESPN anchors, or being extremely relatable. Scott was also a great father and an excellent human being. His 20 plus years on our television set will be remembered for decades and Scott will go down as one of the greatest ESPN anchors of all time. So the next time you see a crazy highlight, just think of Scott yelling “Booyah!” or “Call him butter, ’cause he’s on a roll.” Scott left a lasting legacy on his family, and his colleagues and his fans. I loved his work ethic and he will always serve as a lasting inspiration. Stuart Scott will always and forever be as cool as the other side of the pillow.

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