This one may be a bit more about myself as much as it is about Stuart Scott— yet will illustrate what he meant to an entire generation.
So… without further ado…
You read the title right.
Scott was as cool as the other side of the pillow and was a player in more ways than one. Not only was he a “playa” in terms of endearment, but he was also a Division I Football and Track athlete at the University of North Carolina. You read that correctly, Stuart Scott was a DIVISION I athlete. How many DI athletes do you personally know? Not many, because there aren’t many out there.
So, among the qualified to commentate and critique about sports, Scott would be one of them. Yet in today’s sports hosting world, we get the likes of Skip Bayless, paired with Shannon Sharp drinking and smoking a cigar on television in an attempt to capture ratings. We get Stephan A. Smith whom is “very good friends” with everyone, yet no one agrees with his flagrantly controversial takes.
Take me back– back to a time where I could watch ESPN on repeat 18 times in one day. Back to a time where ESPN analysts used intelligent humor over wild hot takey opinions to stir controversy and drive ratings. Back to a time where Stuart Scott was giving us a top ten with one of his many catchphrases, “Boo-Yah”.
Stuart Scott was born July 19th, 1965 in Chicago, IL. Scott moved at a young age to North Carolina where he would play the prep portion of his football and track career. He was an obvious standout as he was recruited by UNC to play football for them as a WR and a DB at the DI level.
This goes without mentioning, however, after his playing days he was able to obtain a job at ESPN as a sports broadcaster where he would work along side other greats like Kenny Mayne, Dan Patrick, Chris Berman, and more commonly co-hosted with Rich Eisen.
Being a former Division I athlete gave him exceptional insight on what it took to become a top athlete as well as what they (top athletes) go through from day to day and was obvious in his respectful, pin-point reporting. Meanwhile, we get to hear hot takes from sportscasters whom probably have never put on a helmet of any kind or shot a basketball without looking like a High School Principal that is trying too hard to win over a student body.
I may sound like an old man saying, “back in my day,” but the sportscasters of today don’t equate on any level.
Scott took a football to the eye while reporting for ESPN which caused his recognizable droopy left eye to only get back out there and start field reporting as soon as he could. Toughness—check. Didn’t know intangibles mattered when it came to broadcasters, but it obviously did/does. On numerous occasions, Scott would still go to work to report on the world of sports for us after a session of chemotherapy during his cancer treatments. His only complaint after returning from work? Wishing people would stop asking/talking about cancer because all he wanted to do was talk sports—A true professional.
ESPN has not been the same since his departure of this world, and I’ll forever remember the countless hours I spent watching him do what he loved most– reporting sports.
Stuart Scott stopped his fight with cancer on January 4th, 2015. The reason I say “stopped” over “lost”? A man like that doesn’t lose anything, he just runs out of time—Boo-Yah.
In Loving Memory of the late ESPN analyst, Stuart N. Scott
(July 19th, 1965 – January 4th, 2015)