Written by James H. Williams - Jan. 4, 2015
This one hurts for me…
During my high school years, I can recall turning on the television and hearing the witty phrases of Stuart Scott on ESPN as he provided the highlights for the day in sports, but at the time I did not have a full understanding for what I was watching.
Without realizing it, watching Scott among others, I found myself entering a new world (the sports media industry) unaware of how hard a job like that could be at times because professionals, like Scott, perfected their craft and made it look easy.
It is also an industry that would seem to feature very few African Americans on ESPN, let alone mainstream sports media on the national stage.
While there is nothing wrong with it, many of the African American’s featured are former athletes who have found work after their professional career have come to a conclusion.
One of those select few to make their way to the top of the industry without being a retired professional athlete is Scott, who in my mind is one of the most recognizable media members of this generation because of his unique catch phrases, that I know I would look forward to hearing the minute I saw him sitting behind a SportsCenter desk on ESPN.
Sadly, the day has arrived in which Scott has passed away at the age of 49 following several bouts with cancer, as I heard the news from my sister who ran into my room to tell me of his passing.
This is a day I thought about before and was often reminded of especially over the last season or two when the Monday Night Football game would come to an end and the post game show on ESPN would begin.
Shortly after the intro of the show someone like Steve Young or Trey Wingo would give a shout out to Scott, when he was not in his usual spot as host of the show and let the fans know he is receiving treatment for cancer or as Scott would call it on Twitter, the “c-word.”
I never met Scott but did exchange a few tweets with him and even then, one can detect the humble gentleman that he was.
Sure, there may have been others just as good in sports media in the eyes of many, but today… in my time… they do not get any better than Stuart Scott.
The aftermath and outpouring of love for Scott, following his passing, speaks volumes to his character and ability.
It may have been just months ago in which he was honored at the ESPYs and gave a speech that I know I listened to several times that day.
He showed not only the love and passion for his occupation and those he worked with but also for his family, especially his young daughters who he loved dearly.
Stuart Scott, your energy and kindness will be missed. Rest easy brother.