Gone, but not forgotten: Rest easy, Stuart Scott
I can’t believe it’s over.
It seems so wrong, so unfair that a person like you could get taken like this, so young and with so much life left in you. I know I’ve waited far too long to pen this letter, but I want you to know how much you’ve meant to me and millions of others around the world who grew up watching SportsCenter.
You were so much more than an anchor, Stu. You were a friendly presence in my living room throughout my childhood, keeping me up on the everyday happenings of the sports world. You were a comedian, adding sizzle and fun to a typically bland broadcast with your catchphrases like “BOO-YAH!” and “cool as the other side of the pillow.” You were a friend to many in an industry where everybody fights to be the first to break a story or be the guy to bring a fresh new take. You were a pioneer, not just for sports broadcasters, but for African Americans all over the country who could suddenly identify with sports and the media in a new way. You were a father to two girls who I know will grow up to be very successful, because they had a dad who loved them and raised them with pride. You were a fighter, kicking cancer’s ass for upwards of seven years and showing the world that when life hits, you have no option but to hit back and keep fighting some more.
But more than all of that, you were an idol, a role model for kids such as me who spent their childhoods dreaming of sitting behind that desk and being the voice of sports for people around the world. Thank you Stu, for making SportsCenter fun and for making me realize that I could do anything if I was just willing to fight for it. Thank you for your willingness to show your vulnerability and in the process become an inspiration for people to keep going; everyone is fighting some type of battle and your words and never-say-die attitude helped and will continue to help millions of people all over the world. That, Stuart, truly is as cool as the other side of the pillow.
It seems crazy to be crying about the loss of someone I never met, but I had dreamed of meeting you since I was younger than 5. I wanted to shake your hand. I wanted to look you in the eye and say thank you. You never knew how much of an impact you had on me, making me realize that I had a passion for sports that will never burn out, and that I could choose a career path that would let me share that passion with others who feel the same way. Simply put, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without your influence. You gave me a drive, a determination to work for what I want. And now, I will strive to live my life in a way that would make you proud; fighting for what I love and never, ever giving up.
There are so many great journalists, hosts and broadcasters out there, many of whom you’ve spent time working with at ESPN. I can barely keep up with all the SportsCenter anchors nowadays, but nobody will be able to fill the void that’s left behind in your absence; there is only one Stuart Scott.
And you will be dearly missed.
I hope you’re finally free of pain, resting and knowing that your fight is over now. Rest in peace Stu, and know that there has never been more of a winner than you in the battle against cancer.
You will never be forgotten.
RIP Stuart Scott
July 19, 1965 – Jan. 4, 2015