On Sunday, the veteran ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor died after a years-long battle with cancer, the network said Sunday.
He was 49.
Stuart Scott was the sports broadcaster that an entire generation of aspiring reporters wanted to be. He was the voice of my generation. Growing up in a sports household such as I did, and turning on ESPN every morning, Stuart Scott was there.
He made announcing cool, and made it relatable and fun to watch.
He put his spin on it for sure by introducing segments and highlights with popular catch phrases and pop references that somehow made sense and fit what he was discussing. It was like a work of art, seeing him come up with such sayings. You wanted to see what he would come up with next.
Matter of fact, among the features of the new ESPN studio in Bristol, is a wall of catchphrases made famous by on-air talent over the years and an amazing nine of them belong to him. From his signature “Boo-Yah!” to “As cool as the other side of the pillow” to “He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin’ him to school.”
Scott spent the last 21 years on the air for ESPN, and his anchoring included coverage of NFL and NBA games.
His first diagnosis of stomach cancer came in November 2007, and ESPN said Scott “went through several surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and clinical trials to stay strong and ward off cancer for as long as humanly possible.”
Despite the cancer, he was resilient.
“Here’s what I do right (after) chemo. Leave the infusion center & go STRAIGHT 2 either do a p90x wkout or train MMA..THATS how you #LIVESTRONG,” he posted online in January when he received a third diagnosis.
On Sunday morning there was an immediate outpouring of love and grief from Scott’s longtime colleagues.
ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote on Twitter that he was heartbroken: Scott “lived with such panache. He battled his disease with such dignity. Unforgettable man.”
Afternoon “SportsCenter” host Linda Cohn wrote, “I can’t believe he is gone. There was nobody like Stuart Scott, There will never be again. A big presence with even a bigger heart.”
I can't believe he is gone. There was nobody like Stuart Scott, There will never be again. A big presence with even a bigger heart. RIP SS.
— Linda Cohn (@lindacohn) January 4, 2015
And ESPN President John Skipper praised Scott for “energetic and unwavering devotion to his family and to his work” throughout the ordeal.
We are heartbroken to report that Stuart Scott has died after a long fight with cancer. He was 49. pic.twitter.com/aI0TGwFqGU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 4, 2015
In July during the annual ESPY awards, Scott was awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, and gave a moving speech with his daughter on stage.