This morning the sad news came out that longtime ESPN anchor/reporter Stuart Scott had passed away. It took three battles with cancer to claim the man’s 49-year life.
I was not a fan of Stuart Scott behind the Sportscenter anchor desk. Although almost 20 years ago as a young boy I did find him hip and cool with tag team anchor partner Rich Eisen, my enthusiasm for Scott waned as time went by. He became a little too over the top, a little too opinionated, a little too cocky for me. Most of America, however, didn’t share my sentiment as he had thousands of adoring fans.
While I wasn’t impressed with Scott’s work I was blown away with his perseverance and courage. Watching him do his job these last several years was nothing short of inspiring. You didn’t have to be a doctor to see the visibly sick man on the other side of the television screen. Most people, and rightfully so, take a back seat from the public eye once they are stricken with a nasty disease. Scott, working in an industry that is more public than any other, connected with millions of Americans on a nightly basis during the height of his sickness. Mind you again, he fought cancer THREE different times.
This past summer Stuart Scott was given a worthy tribute at the ESPYs as he was presented with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. The story that chronicled his cancer treatments and his life as a broadcaster dealing with a deadly disease was painstakingly well done. His acceptance speech that followed is already legendary, one that now rests on the same pedestal as the one the man who the award is named for gave many years before him on the same stage. Whether you were a fan of Scott or not, if he didn’t have your respect moments before his ESPYs acceptance speech he surely did after.
During the story on Scott at the 2014 ESPYs the song “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith was used. Because of how powerful that feature was and the heart that was shown, whenever I heard the song afterwards I immediately thought of Stuart Scott. Now that he is gone, that melody will make me think even stronger of him when it is played. You don’t have to love how someone does their job but you should always admire the courage they show. RIP Stuart Scott. Don’t Blink.