This was not the blog I’d planned to return with. I had another drafted to re-enter the sports world. And then the news broke; Stuart Scott had passed away this morning. So today is all about someone I’ve come to see as a friend, someone who reached through that glass wall and touched my emotions. Farewell, Stuart, an exceptional example of sports announcing that made people like me come to love sports even more.
Now there is a hole in my SportsCenter. I’ve been missing Stuart for the last several months and knew that he was fighting what was probably his final battle against cancer. But denial is a powerful salve, and with the commercials, I received enough reassurance that he was winning that battle. The announcement this morning didn’t surprise me, but I didn’t expect to find myself in tears. And yet I did. ESPN has put together a lovely tribute to him, of course. Many people are posting tributes to twitter and other blogs. I was not the only person Stuart touched through his words and personality. But I do feel like I need to add my voice to the thundering accolades for Stuart.
For me, Stuart was one of the few “non-plastic” beautiful talking heads on ESPN. Boomer and Stuart were the guys who were having fun; I felt like they talked about sports the way we would sitting on their couch, or sitting in their kitchen. I felt let in to Stuart’s life, in a way I felt with few of the rotating “young men” announcers that found themselves beside Stuart. Stuart had the ability to make me feel like he was announcing just for me, that the jokes, language, and joy he announced with was all for my benefit and my benefit alone. Like an inside joke that was only between us. I’m guessing the outpouring of grief today is because he made all of us feel that way.
And so now there is a hole in my SportsCenter. It will not be filled. Stuart will forever be in my heart. Rest in Peace, my friend. “Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”