When you think about ESPN’s Sports Center a few things come to mind. The “du-na-na, du-na-na” followed by “Welcome to Sports Center, this is Stuart Scott and…”Sadly we will never here those words again. This morning, it was reported, ESPN’s most popular anchor lost his long battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 49.
For those of us under the age of 25, Scott was “thee” Sports Center anchor. Sure the other anchors were alright, but no one was “cooler than the other side of the pillow” like Scott. He talked how we talked when we saw highlights—it’s like we were doing the highlights ourselves. From “hater in house,” “boo-yah!” to any relevant hip-hop slang; “Vlade Daddi, he likes to party, he don’t cause trouble, he don’t bother nobody.” Scott bridged the gap from old school to new.
I’m not old enough to remember Scott’s early ESPN days so I won’t pretend to. I just know that when I woke up for school every morning Scott was on that television screen giving me the highlights from the night before. Whether it was baseball season, basketball or football, he made them all sound like you had just missed the greatest game the night before.
He wasn’t your cookie-cutter anchor, he was all freestyle. That’s why he was the best. Everyone pretended to sound like Scott when they were watching a sporting event. It was almost impossible not to.
Even in the midst of a brutal battle with cancer Scott came to work like “gravy on a biscuit, it’s all good!” I, for one, didn’t know he was battling cancer and wouldn’t have known had ESPN kept it a secret. Scott hid his pain with his energy, an energy that brought a smile to every colleague he hosted with. Go back to YouTube clips of Scott and point out an anchor that wasn’t smiling when on camera with him. You won’t find one.
Scott was and will always be one the greatest sports anchors we will ever have the privilege of seeing. He was the epitome of a pioneer and he will be dearly missed. Rest in peace Stu, you were an inspiration to me and many more.