Stu­art Scott was a legend

The Compass - - SPORTS - — Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/ pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca. Ni­cholas Mercer

As you may have heard by now, long­time ESPN sports an­chor Stu­art Scott passed away last week after a bat­tle with can­cer. He was 49.

In the wake of his death, trib­utes to Scott have flooded so­cial me­dia and var­i­ous sports web­sites. He was hailed as an in­no­va­tor as a sports an­chor and rec­og­nized for the amaz­ing strength he ex­hib­ited while fight­ing his ill­ness.

This quote from his ESPYs ap­pear­ance on July 16 — he was there to ac­cept the Jimmy V Award for Perserver­ance — per­fectly ar­tic­u­lates the re­solve he showed dur­ing his ill­ness.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to can­cer. You beat can­cer by how you live, why you live, and in the man­ner in which you live.”

Dur­ing his ca­reer, Scott worked count­less NBA Fi­nals and NFL games, while host­ing a num­ber of ESPN broad­casts and ef­fec­tively chang­ing the sports­caster game.

He coined sev­eral well-known catch phrases, in­clud­ing ‘boo-yah!’ and ‘cooler than the other side of the pil­low.’ He con­nected with young peo­ple while stray­ing from the tra­di­tional model of how to an­chor a high­lights show.

Scott in­formed while bring­ing a hip-hop men­tal­ity to broad­cast­ing. He brought flair to his craft that was un­prece­dented at the time.

Un­for­tu­nately, we didn’t see his tal­ent north of the bor­der.

In Canada, we got which­ever suit TSN marched out for their morn­ing and evening runs. We got Gino Reda, Dar­ren Dutchyshen and Rod Black, along with their drab, less ex­cit­ing style.

Re­ally there was no com­par­i­son be­tween the two styles. Scott was the Michael Jor­dan to their John Starks. The clos­est we’ve got­ten to his blue­print were Jay On­rait and Dan O’Toole.

Look at the sports broad­cast­ing world as it is to­day. All of it is a di­rect re­sult of Scott bring­ing a dif­fer­ent vi­sion to the ta­ble when he started at ESPN in the 90s. In my opin­ion, Dutchyshen changed his style to im­i­tate Scott’s.

Scott shucked the tra­di­tional to make the job his and in the process in­flu­enced fu­ture jour­nal­ists and even ath­letes.

That is a telling tale of the in­flu­ence Scott had in the sports world. He in­spired peo­ple to be cre­ative in their sto­ry­telling. He in­spired them to speak to that younger au­di­ence that sports was geared to­wards. Stu­art Scott changed the game. For that we say thank you.

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