Remembering one of the greatest sportscasters to grace the TV screen
Published 5:57 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2015
His was a voice that I can still hear in my head, and probably will for many years to come. His face, his poise on screen, those glasses and happy-go-lucky smile—despite the fact he was most certainly paining through another day with cancer—showed what kind of man he truly was.
A one-of-a-kind winner.
ESPN anchor Stuart Scott passed away Sunday morning at the age of 49, but he didn’t lose his fight with cancer, no sir. The way he chose to live his life despite that ugly, hideous disease is what makes him a champion. It may have attacked his heart and ate away at his muscles, but not once did he let it take his life.
I couldn’t pinpoint when I first saw Scott on screen. For all intents and purposes, he’s always been there in my life. When he came onboard ESPN in 1993, I was barely pushing 3-years-old. So from my earliest days of watching SportsCenter, he was there, pioneering a form of broadcast journalism that had others both in the field and watching on TV asking, “Is he allowed to say that?”
Yes, Scott loved sports. It was very obvious with how he approached his job that this thing was his passion. His method, though, is what set him apart from everybody else.
He presented the news as if he was in your living room, hanging out on the couch and speaking to you one-on-one. There were no formalities or rules for him. He was just a super-cool man giving us the latest on our favorite teams and athletes.
And the catchphrases—where do I even begin?
He coined the term, “Boo-Yah!” whenever someone made a killer play. There’s no telling how many hundreds of thousands of Americans have belted that loudly over the years.
“Cool as the other side of the pillow,” is another one only Scott could come up with.
Or how about, “Like gravy on a biscuit, it’s all good!” No, Scott, it was you who was good.
He set the stage for a generation of broadcasters and journalists to knock down the barriers between news and the viewers and really connect on a personable level.
I never knew him personally, but from what others have said, he was as selfless, caring and wonderful as they come. Yet in a way, I did know him. All his viewers did. That was his gift. When he was on the screen, it was just you and him, talking sports like old buddies.
I’m going to miss him on SportsCenter. Rest in peace.