I was pleasantly surprised two years ago when I attended my first ever “Late Night With Roy” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the midst of all of the pomp and circumstance, there he appeared. Scott worked the “Dean Dome” with his modest frame and his huge voice. The crowd hung on his every word, as he cast his charismatic spell. Armed with my Nikon D300s, I captured the moment. I sat back in my seat and smiled, thinking of the tremendous contributions this man has made to sports broadcasting. As I previewed my shots and zoomed in closely, all I could say was, “Wow, it’s really him: THE GAME CHANGER!”
Stuart Scott is one of the most influential sports commentators to ever air on ESPN. I was a freshman point guard on the Elizabeth City State University Women’s Basketball team in 1993, when Scott first appeared on Sports Center. The moment I heard his voice, I couldn’t believe his audacity! I thought, “They aren’t going to let him go on using that jargon for long.” I couldn’t have been more wrong! He changed the game! He spiced it up! It was entertaining, funny, and brilliant! Suddenly, previously bland and mundane sports talk had come to life! Stuart Scott showed America that broadcasting could be hype and unbelievably down to earth. Phrases such as, “Boo Yah” and “call him butter, he’s on a roll,” were unprecedented. Sports fans would soon realize that there was certainly an audience for that language…and other broadcasters soon followed suit!
Stuart Scott changed the face and the voice of sport’s broadcasting forever. Now, as he fights another battle with cancer, it is with much support and adoration that coaches, athletes and fans across the country pray for his strength and perseverance. His daughters and family should know that his impact is felt not only in the NBA, NFL and NCAA. His voice is heard in small town America, and on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities across the country. May he charge forward to beat cancer with the same courage and determination that propelled him to totally transform the culture of broadcast sports!