Stuart Scott was a legend
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.