Stuart Scott, a respected ESPN anchor known for his enthusiasm and one-of-a-kind catchphrases, passed away from cancer on Sunday. He was 49.
With phrases like "Boo-yah!" and "As cool as the other side of the pillow,” Scott brought a sense of excitement to sports broadcasting while also pushing the envelope.
His ESPN co-worker, Hannah Storm, held back tears as she broke the news of his death calling him “our colleague, our friend and our inspiration.”
“At July’s ESPY awards, Stuart Scott 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,” she said. “And so today we choose not to say that Stuart lost to cancer at the age of 49. Instead, we’ll simply say that we all lost Stuart.”
Scott's former ESPN colleague, Rich Eisen, also shared an emotional tribute to his longtime friend.
“One of the most joyful, full of life individuals I have ever come across, lived his life the way his parents wanted him to live it, the way he felt he should live it,” Eisen said on the NFL network. “He didn’t lose this battle of cancer, he fought it as bravely as he possibly could.”
Scott was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer in November 2007 while undergoing surgery to remove his appendix. The cancer returned several times despite surgeries, chemotherapy and experimental treatments. Scott, who fought hard to beat the disease, told the New York Times that he never asked doctors for a prognosis.
“Stage 1, 2 or 8, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’m trying to fight it the best I can.”
Scott joined ESPN’s spinoff network ESPN2 in 1993 after working for several years at TV stations in the southern U.S. He quickly joined ESPN’s SportsCenter.
"He didn't just push the envelope," sports radio host and former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick said. "He bulldozed the envelope."
Scott is survived by his daughters Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15, his partner Kristin Spodobalski, his parents, his sisters, Susan Scott and Synthia Kearney, and his brother, Stephen.
Many athletes took to Twitter to remember the beloved anchor.
Stuart wasn't covering heroes & champions, it was the other way around. Thinking of my friend & his daughters.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) January 4, 2015
— Akbar Gbajabiamila (@Akbar_Gbaja) January 4, 2015
So saddened to wake up and hear of my friend @StuartScott's passing. He was a true WARRIOR in every sense of the word. We will miss you Stu!
— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) January 4, 2015
RIP Stuart Scott you inspired many and changed the way people looked at sports... Forever as cool as the other side of the pillow
— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) January 4, 2015
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) January 4, 2015
We paid tribute to Stuart Scott last night with an empty anchor desk seat in his honor. He will be greatly missed. » http://t.co/I11WC0kTRD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 5, 2015