Sports anchor changed game by being himself

Dustin Pollard

“With the Lakers down by two late in the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant pulls up for the three annnddd boo-yah! Just like that Kobe puts the Lakers back up. Just call him butter cause he’s on a roll.”

This is what a typical SportsCenter game recap sounded like with Stuart Scott behind the desk.

I woke to the heartbreaking news the longtime ESPN anchor died at the young age of 49 Jan. 4.

He did not lose his battle to cancer. He won it by being the best father, friend and sports anchor he could possibly be.

As a lifelong sports fan, I grew accustomed to hearing Scott breakdown the night’s biggest games by blending his hip-hop style into the broadcast.

He described the game highlights just like I would to my friends.

Whenever he was on set, I felt like he was in my living room.

He would make sports references to rap stars, which at the time was as unheard of as an enjoyable Kidz Bop song.

He brought his personality to the studio with so much emotion and use of catchphrases. Never before had a sports journalist talked as he did.

An African-American from Chicago, he appealed to the urban youth like no anchor on SportsCenter had. He appealed to me like no anchor on SportsCenter had.

He let his emotions out on live TV.

This guy was different.

This is exactly why he was so popular among sports fans and why many sports fans hated him, too.

I bet he drove to work everyday reciting, “What’s up? What’s happenin’? All you haters can get at me.”

Because he did not care what other people thought, he was just himself on TV.

By not conforming to the “norm” of sports broadcasting he was a true pioneer and succeeded in his field even further than if he had conformed.

I know this sounds corny, like a Christmas movie starring Tim Allen, but Scott did a heck of a job of just being himself.

He did it by being a true professional in his field.

Stuart paved a way for aspiring sports journalists like myself. And for this, I thank him.

Rest in peace Stuart Scott.

Tonight I’ll make sure I flip my pillow over to the cool side.