Remembering Stuart Scott

Spencer Hardwick, Social Media Director

Stuart Scott, a former ESPN anchor and cancer patient, passed away due to the disease Sunday morning at the age of 49. Scott was known by many for his creative and memorable catchphrases, like “as cool as the other side of the pillow,” and “Boo-yah!” but Scott will be remembered by many as more than just an eloquent and charismatic wordsmith who manned the Sportscenter desk. Scott was known for his work ethic, his courage, and his love for his two daughters Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15.

Scott was born in Chicago and raised in North Carolina, where he eventually attended college at UNC Chapel Hill. After he began working at ESPN, he was noticed for the unique way in which he presented the news. His way of speaking made the viewer sit up and listen, and attracted especially to the younger demographic. “‘He was like a ball of fire walking in the door,’ said ESPN senior vice president Mark Gross. ‘I had never met anybody like Stuart Scott.’”

Over his career at ESPN, Scott continual grew more and more popular, starring in several “This Is Sportscenter” commercials, covering the play-offs and championships in several sports, and conducting one-on-one interviews with some of the most famous athletes and people of this generation, sitting down with the likes of President Obama and Michael Jordan. Through all of this, Scott remained diligent and hard working, which eventually led to him becoming as big of a celebrity as the people he interviewed.

Unfortunately on Nov. 26, 2007, Scott had an emergency appendectomy which led to doctors discovering a malignant tumor that required additional surgery. Although the surgery was successful, the cancer returned again four years later, and again last year. Though he battled with cancer privately, he maintained his presence as a Sportscenter anchor as often as possible, seemingly unaffected by his three arduous bouts with the disease. Fifty-eight rounds of chemotherapy and countless pills later, Scott remained upbeat even until his final days, going as far to refuse to know his own prognosis because he wanted to maintain the same outlook on life no matter what his future looked like.

Scott’s most memorable moment undoubtedly came at the 2014 ESPY awards, where Scott accepted the Jimmy V award for perseverance. Jim Valvano was a N.C. State basketball coach, who fought cancer before finally passing away in 1993. His final words. “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” struck a chord with people, just as Scott’s acceptance speech would do 21 years later. Speaking about his outlook on cancer and on life after after a weeks hospital stay to deal with complications from the cancer, Scott’s words became a rallying cry for millions of fellow cancer patients. The most definitive line in his speech as is follows: “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in a manner in which you live,” he said. “So live. Live. Fight like hell, and when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”