ESPN sportscaster died today at the age of 49. He'd come down with cancer seven years ago, and I thought it had been in remission. Though the last few years I was surprised that he almost looked like he was on chemotherapy. It turned out that he'd had two subsequent relapses, yet kept on working a hard schedule.
I liked his work. I didn't love everything he did -- he had a unique, sort of hip-hop style (most famous for him coining the exclamation, "Boo-yah!") that sometimes drew too much attention on himself and away from what he was cover -- but overall his knowledge, enthusiasm and personality struck me as real.
ESPN had a lot of coverage on Sunday morning, mostly on ESPN 2. I watched for an hour, and was taken by how emotional people were. I've seen plenty of other reports about lost colleagues, but this stood out. And went on far longer than most other tributes I'd see. And it had started before I tuned in, and continued after I had to leave. Phone-in callers Michael Wilbon, Sage Steele and Dan Patrick were especially moved. And the on-air host, Hannah Storm, was apparently close friends with Scott, and seemed several times like she was close to losing it and breaking into tears.
The ran a particularly wonderful tribute film, narrated by former ESPN host Robin Roberts, herself a cancer survivor that put Stuart Scott's life in great perspective, including part of a power speech he gave at this year's ESPY Awards for receiving the Jimmy V Award -- named for North Carolina basketball coach Jim Valvano, who famously gave his "Never give up, don't ever give up" speech at the ESPYs several years ago, right before he passed away from cancer, after which ESPN's Jimmy V Foundation was created.
It's really a terrific film, well-worth watching.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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