I grew up watching ESPN Sportscenter. I remember the very first episode with Chris Berman back in the early 1980's. Little did we know at that time, but significant history was being made right before our eyes. ESPN was a much needed network for us sports lovers.
Speaking of history and greatness, Stuart Scott, the sportscenter anchor for many years, who died recently from cancer, is remembered. I never met Stuart personally but feel as if I do know him after watching him broadcast for all those years. Some of the lessons Stuart taught us and stood for, outlined below, we should take to heart and practice daily.
1. Stuart had a dream.
I believe Stuart had a dream to make an impact on the world. The size of his dream, in my opinion, was equal to some the greats of the past. Not just in the field of broadcasting, like Howard Cosell (one of my all-time favorites), but in every area of life.
One of the greats Stuart reminded me of include Jackie Robinson, a true sports pioneer. Can you imagine being Jackie Robinson back in the racists days? I suggest you watch the movie '42' if you haven't already. Other greats Stuart reminded me of include Walter Peyton (Chicago Bears hall of famer), Martin Luther King (the great "I have a dream speech"), President John F. Kennedy (a true sports enthusiast), Jimmy Valvano (late N.C. State head basketball coach).
2. Stuart had a plan.
Stuart graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in speech communication. Scott cut his teeth on the local North Carolina and Florida sportscasting scene for approximately 5 years before joining ESPN in 1983. Once that marriage occurred, history was in the making. Stuart's plan was, in my opinion, to not only deliver the sports news in his famous hip-hop style, but to help improve the lives of all those around him.
3. Stuart had a mission.
I believe Stuart's quest in life was not just to be a world-reknown sportscaster, but to have a positive affect on other peoples lives around the world. ESPN was the perfect vehicle. With his charismatic sportscasting personality, he coined multiple catchphrases that appealed to the younger audience. His mission, in my opinion, was to use communication in a way that showed a caring, loving, fun, trendy approach in bringing the world together, regardless of race, color or national origin.
4. Stuart believed in himself.
With all the hate mail pouring in from all over the world about this brash, new hip-hop sportscaster, (who happened to finish first in the USA Today 2003 poll of which sportscaster would you vote off ESPN), Stuart never lost sight of who he was. Scott never changed his style and ESPN stuck with him.
5. Stuart never quit.
Stuart was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 after having his appendix removed. The cancer returned in 2011 after remission and again in 2013. By 2014, Staurt had undergone 58 infusions of chemotherapy, in addition to radiation and chemotherapy pills.
In his Jimmy Valvano acceptance speech of July 16, 2014, Stuart told the audience regarding his fight with cancer, "When you die it does not mean you lost to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live". All I can say Stuart is "BOOYAH".
Stuart was 'as cool as the other side of the pillow'. Let's hope we can learn from you. You were a pioneer and will be greatly missed. Godspeed.
Chris Doe Ford - hopefully we all can learn from the greats of the past. Stuart Scott will always be remembered. http://RChrisFord.com