Sometimes it takes just a single name:Jordan,Pele,Montana,or DiMaggio to conjure up potent visceral images of winning and accomplishment. These icons and their iconic endeavors are seared into memory banks to be replayed on demand for years to come. But just as there are memorable professional sports athletes,there are also relevant non-athletes closely linked to sports who are as memorable . ESPN sports anchor Stuart Scott is one of those individuals. Stuart is also one of my heroes. Since 1993- his first broadcast - he has been a nightly guest in my home and someone I have had the good fortune to meet on several occasions. Right as I was leaving church service today my son Miles sent me a text message to inform me the Lord called Stuart home. My eyes immediately began to tear. I had to head to the nearest men's room for a private moment to cry and pray. Stuart Scott was not supposed to die. No, not now and not for a long time. Although, Scott has been battling a rare form of cancer since 2007, he had emerged stronger and his doctors were optimistic for a full recovery. His July 2014 speech at the ESPY awards where he received the Jimmy V award was as indelible and brave as anything you will ever witness on live television. "When you die, it doesn't mean you lose to cancer," Scott passionately stated. " You beat the cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live." He took a prideful moment to speak with a father's pure love and admiration for his two daughters Sydni and Taelor. He then bought Sydni up on stage , "come on up and give dad a hug because I need one." There was not a dry eye in the house.
Stuart was as much as a game-changer as the sports figures he spoke glowingly about. His infectious energy, inimitable spirit was contagious to all. He was like a multi-sensory Red Bull. Scott was a new generation sports broadcaster who gave a new generation of athletes their own voice. He emboldened their personal journeys with a sense of authenticity style, and swag not previously seen or heard. The players all related to Suart. He was one of them. What athlete did not want to end up on ESPN with Scott exhorting: " boo-yah, " , "as cool as the other side of the pillow," to " you ain't gotta go home, but you gotta get the heck out of here, " Scott became a cultural touchstone with his own hip sports lexicon. He was popular with sports fans from Brooklyn to Berlin.
It was no secret that battling cancer is mentally, physically, and emotionally exacting We knew Stuart Scott was a warrior and he would emerge victorious. The Lord however had another plan for our brother.
The greatest compliment you can say about someone is they made your life better. Stuart Scott made a lot of lives better. Like Kobe, Iverson, or even Namath, Stuart Scott forever changed the landscape. Like all great ones his impact will endure forever. Stuart Scott was a great broadcaster but most importantly he was a great person. I love you my brother and may God bless you and welcome you in heaven.