Monday, January 5, 2015


From time to time, we here at BYB will write about something other than baseball.  It might not be often, but life being what life is, there are times that can warrant a respite away from our team in pinstripes.  That being said, please allows me this moment to say goodbye to a friend.

I never knew Stuart Scott personally.  He’s not a relative, and I’m pretty sure I never had the honor to be within 100 miles of him.  Heck, you could do a “six degrees of separation” and come up empty when it comes to me and him.  Yet, the news of his passing somehow struck home with me.

I’m sure it struck home to many of you reading this.

All too often these days we see sportscasters who clearly think they are better than us (Olbermann), or are obnoxiously opinionated (Stephen Smith), or who say things just to create an argument where one doesn’t exist (Bayless).  Stuart Scott was none of these.  Sure, he was cocky, but in a down-to-earth way that made those sitting in front of the TV screen feel like they were listening to a buddy describing a game he just witnessed.  He loved sports, and wasn’t afraid to show it.

That’s what set him apart.  He was one of us.
Stuart Scott always exuded enthusiasm as he gave us game recaps.  Little did we know how hurting he was off-camera.  Every time I saw him on ESPN, he had a smile on his face.  His catch-phrases (“cool as the other side of the pillow”, “Boo-Yah!”) will forever be used, just without that same joie de vivre.
Even when faced with the enemy that would eventually take him from us, Stuart Scott refused to let it get the best of him.  As Steve Levy (one of Stuart’s on-air partners) told us, Scott would close his eyes and lean back during commercial breaks – attempting to catch a quick 30-second nap and reserve whatever energy he had – so that he could (and would) show the viewers his best when the camera lights came back on.

He never showed us fear, and went so far as to invite us into the doctor’s office where he’d receive his chemo.  He knew that there were countless lives out there that he touched on a nightly basis, and that some of those might be going through the same challenges.  He wanted those people to know that they weren’t alone, and that they had nothing to be frightened of.  Stuart Scott was aware of his celebrity and how he could use it to help others.  Other than the person the award is named for, I cannot think of a more appropriate recipient of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance than Stuart Scott.

Yet, it wasn’t his talent in front of the camera, or even his courage in the battle against cancer that garnered my admiration for Stuart Scott.  Instead, it was his love for his family.  He was a proud father who, in spite of the demands of his job and his illness, still found the strength to attend his kids’ games or school events.  He wasn’t an absentee celebrity dad.  No, Stuart Scott was the real deal.  I know this because I followed him on Twitter, and saw the countless tweets he put out there proudly letting the world know how much he loved being a father.
When he had a chance, Scott would take his daughters with him to the numerous events he covered.
I’ll never forget his ESPY speech, not only was it inspirational, but upon its conclusion he invited his 15-year-old to join him on stage because “daddy needs a hug”.

Even though he was a high-visibility sports anchor for ESPN, Stuart Scott remained a good dad.  To me, a father of three, THAT is what made him great and THAT is what made him one of us.

To his immediate family as well as his ESPN family, we here at BYB express our most sincere condolences.  No words can even begin to describe the loss you must feel.  Just know that we stand with you.

Goodbye Stuart Scott, and thank you for showing us how to never back down and stay true to ourselves while appreciating what we have. Not all of us knew you, but we all considered you our friend.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1


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