By Margarita Williamson, Trending Writer
“BOO-YAH!” It has been far too long since viewers of SportsCenter have heard anchor Stuart Scott say one of his signature catchphrases. In 2007, Scott was first diagnosed with cancer and overcame it. The cancer returned in 2011 for the second time and he beat it, but then it returned again in 2013. In January of last year at the age of 49, Scott lost his battle with cancer of the appendix, a rare type of cancer. His death came as a shock to many in the sports world. There was an outpour of reactions to Scott’s death online. President Barack Obama, sports stars, celebrities, colleagues of Scott, and ESPN viewers tweeted their condolences and admiration for the late anchor.
It is hard to imagine SportCenter and not think of Stuart Scott. Scott’s energy was unlike any other sports anchor on television. The language he used helped him to appeal to a younger audience. Some viewers felt that he tried too hard while others loved and found him to be refreshing. Scott broadened the ESPN audience, connected with viewers on many different levels and made them feel a part of the conversation. According to an article from The Atlantic, when Scott debuted on ESPN2 in 1993, he became one of the network’s few African American personalities who did not make his name as a professional athlete. Scott also starred in many “This is SportsCenter” commercials. Despite this, his presence was not limited to just SportsCenter. Scott made appearances on Monday Night Countdown, NBA finals, NCAA Final Four, the Superbowl, and the World Series. He interviewed with Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and many other big names in sports. Scott sat down with public figures outside of the sports world such as President Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Denzel Washington.
In 2014, Scott accepted the “Jimmy V Perseverance Award” at the ESPY’s. After his speech, the audience full of stars gave him a tearful standing ovation. He entertained and inspired his colleagues and viewers until the end. Former sports anchor Dan Patrick said it best: “He didn’t just push the envelope. He bulldozed it.” Stuart Scott was truly the best; he is loved and will be missed by many. Scott is survived by his parents, three siblings, and two daughters.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 26th print edition.
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