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Scott transcended sports with words

January 8, 2015

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Scott transcended sports with words

Illustration | Brittany England

Illustration | Brittany England

Illustration | Brittany England

Longtime ESPN personality, Stuart Scott died on Saturday following a third bout with cancer, when he was just 49.

However, Scott was much more than just a talking head on the all sports everything network, he was one of the men who helped define the station’s signature show ‘SportsCenter’, helping make it a worldwide success.

Scott broke down the color lines with a battering ram and became the first African-American to be prominently featured as an anchor on the daily live sports highlights show. He hosted and anchored several shows and specials including the Emmy award winning Monday Night Football coverage along with NFL greats like Steve Young and Ray Lewis.

He was the first person to use terms “Booyah” and “As cool as the other side of the pillow” in sports highlights incorporating a sense of hip-hop and urban culture that had never been done before.

Coming from an urban inner city environment, it is rare that you can see people on television you can relate to or identify with, especially in the sports world.

Most of the people of color on the station were former players so it was refreshing to see somebody representing a part of the population that is largely forgotten in on air media.

Scott would routinely take lines from the most popular rap and hip-hop songs utilizing them in highlights while describing sports from basketball to tennis.
Scott took songs from the greats like Slick Rick and Snoop Dogg while delivering Sacramento Kings highlights in the early 2000’s, “Vlade, Doddy, he likes to party, he don’t cause trouble, he don’t hurt nobody.”

Initially his style was viewed as offensive, degrading, and even corny, but as Scott developed his style, he became an icon transcending his sports anchor role into that of a superstar celebrity.

Scott even managed to incorporate terms like “You see, what had happened was,” an urban term that means something happening that wasn’t supposed to happen.

In addition to the hundreds of athletes showing their condolences for Scott’s passing, even the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, released a statement. “I will miss Stuart Scott. Twenty years ago, Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays.

For much of those twenty years, public service and campaigns have kept me from my family – but wherever I went, I could flip on the TV and Stu and his colleagues on SportsCenter were there. Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us – with courage and love.”

Scott received the Jim Valvano Perseverance award at the 2014 ESPY awards where he told the audience, “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

Scott transcended sports, he created a new way to deliver highlights and news that was mocked and then became the standard that we know today. However, his distinct connection to urban culture and the use of its references in his words ushered in a brand new way to discuss all of the daily events around the world.

Scott truly was as cool as the other side of the pillow.

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