Stuart Scott passed away on January 4th, 2015. If anything, I was shocked just like everyone else. It was one of those situations where you knew the best outcome was to occur. However, life has a way of showing “the otherwise”. I was easily thrown off by the outcome of Stuart Scott’s cancer battle.

What makes matters worse is that I wasn’t even at home. I was out running errands for the house. I see a message on my phone from one of my frat brothers mentioned the occurrence through a tweet he saw. Many of them, whom saw the message, was pretty floored. Still, I had to rush home to see what was happening on ESPN.

And then I came to see the two dedications to Stuart Scott: one from Hanna Storm and one from Rich Eisen.

Talk about things happening when you least expect them.

Stuart Scott was ESPN

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Beyond the fact that he is an Alpha man from the University of North Carolina, he was the biggest reason as to WHY I loved ESPN. Hearing him say things like “as cool as the other side of the pillow” and “Boo-Yah!” bring back memories of waking up early in the morning to the TV as it watched me all night. Stuart Scott was both urban, professional, and comedic without being forced.

If you ever wondered how men can watch ESPN all day, be reminded that Stuart Scott is probably one of the reasons why.

Stuart Scott the Polarizing Figure

People don’t realize that Stuart Scott was a pioneer on a channel that tried to “dumb down” his personality. People didn’t understand what he was doing or why. Some were even “insulted” by the man’s presence and commandeering personality. Regardless, Stuart Scott showed integrity by doing what pioneers do: he stuck to his guns. Turns out that “sticking to your guns” is the best way to shoot for the stars.

Strange enough, the hatred was mixed with admiration. The same man that finished first in the “vote them off” of the Sports Center Island survey by USA Today was also second (behind Dan Patrick) in the “let him stay” category. It must be said that ESPN received a lot of hate mail due to Stuart Scott. Either people just could not wrap their heads around the hip hop vernacular or they genuinely loved it. It holds true that people will hate what they don’t understand and cherish what they connect with.

Stuart Scott The Teacher

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Yet, it was the way he fought against adversity that made me realize the lessons I needed to learn from him. During his multiple bouts with cancer, he didn’t give up. He didn’t waver. He didn’t tremble from fear. He fought. He worked harder. He smiled more. He loved more. He found inspiration in the people he loved. He realized living was more about himself; living meant being around for those that loved him.

At that moment is when it all clicked.

Stuart Scott taught me a lot of things. For one, he taught me how to be brave enough to carve my own lane regardless of what people may not agree with. Another lesson he taught was the simple art of perseverance. He made facing adversity look good. Beyond all those, he taught me the simple aspect of living for others. All of these lessons I learned from a man I didn’t even know.

But I didn’t have to know him to learn from him. All I had to do was pay attention to the great things he accomplished and understand why he did what he did. Sure, everyone didn’t like him. But those that did like him actually loved him. Sometimes, paying attention to greatness will teach many lessons. And those many lessons I gained without a classroom and any pencils or paper.

Rest in peace, Stuart Scott. You taught me how to actually live.