He Had All The Fun – Remembering Stuart Scott
These Guys Have All The Fun, the 2011 book documenting the early years at ESPN, might be the most appropriately named book in publication. Without knowing anything about what goes on behind the scenes, I can sum up what I see from every ESPN on screen personality in one word: fun. And if you really think about, how could it NOT be fun? If you love sports as much as I do, being an on air talent working for ESPN is the mountaintop. You talk about sports, research sports, watch sports; and then get to go on national television and tell millions of people what happened that night in the sports world. ESPN has had a lot of great anchors over the years, but no one epitomized fun more than Stuart Scott.
Stuart Scott started at ESPN when I was 5 years old. I love sports now as much as I did back then, and a major reason I loved sports so much was ESPN. A 24 hour sports network? Are you kidding me? I couldn’t have been more all in if they paid me to watch it. In 2015, a lot of people accuse ESPN of stealing sports headlines or focusing too much on particular athletes, but back then, it was just fun to watch. ESPN’s flagship show has always been Sportscenter, and every since I could remember, I wanted to be an anchor on that show. When Stuart Scott arrived on the scene in 1993, he was different. He had an attitude and confidence about him that immediately separated him from the pack, but at the same time, he was still having so much fun. Behind all the catch phrases was a man who was incredibly good at his job, and he made me want to be a sportscaster more than ever. As a 5’11 160 pound white guy who loved sports, I wasn’t making the NBA or the NFL anytime soon, so sports casting turned into my dream job. I’d watch games on mute and commentate, research stats and watch highlights of any game I could get my eyes on because I knew that’s what the pros did. It was almost an obsession, but it didn’t feel that way because I was having so much fun doing it. As Stuart Scott began to rise to prominence in the sports world, his genius started to touch every sports he covered: NBA Countdown, NFL Countdown, MLB Playoffs, NCAA Final Four; everything Stuart Scott did, he did well. Watching him do all these different things over the years made him my go to guy: that’s who I wanted to emulate, that’s who I wanted to be like as a professional. I knew I could never have his style, or his catch phrases, but above everything else, Stuart Scott proved that if you put in the effort and did your homework, you’d be rewarded. I never did anchor a Sportscenter telecast, but as I got older, I realized I didn’t have to. The mindset of consistent effort could be applied to everything around you, and it’s helped me to this day.
The sporting world mourned the loss of Stuart Scott this Sunday at the depressingly young age of 49. Tributes have popped up all over the internet, including the one embedded above that aired during ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. In the video, Scott’s friends and co workers talked about how great he was at his job, and how wonderful he was a man. Stuart Scott injected life into everything he touched. He always had fun. Boo-yah.