In my brain, I knew Stu’s last relapse was a bad one. But it was Stu, so my heart figured it might be a little longer than usual, but I’d see him confronting his haters on Twitter (I asked why he even bothered answering them, but it was just another sport to him, I think) and looking better than he felt on tv. So I, like many others, was devastated to see that he’d laid down his sword this morning. I am crushed. Inconsolable. Paralyzed. Stu has been my friend for more than 20 years, before Booyah and Cool as The Other Side of the Pillow and He Must be Butter, He’s on a Roll.
Stu came to WESH in Orlando as a weekend sports anchor. He had been a news reporter in Raleigh, but always wanted to do sports. He lowered himself to report news just as a way to get into sports. He was MY sports guy, as I was the weekend news anchor. He was a great colleague who turned into a great friend, one who always made me laugh. One of my favorite Stu stories is when he put a phone receiver up to a speaker in an edit room during a newscast so his dad could hear him do sports. He made the mistake of telling me he did that before the show, and I proceeded to tell viewers what he’d done and then I said “Hi” to his dad. It may be the only time in his esteemed career that he was made speechless on the air.
But usually, it was Stu leaving us speechless. We’d go to movies (and once in an airport on the way to a vacation), and he’d pretend to trip and would roll down the aisle, howling, while we stood and watched and got dirty looks from people who didn’t understand why we weren’t helping our clumsy friend. He’d order pizza without cheese (what?). He immediately flew to Jamaica to hold the hand of a friend of ours whose husband had been murdered. He knew the words to most Sister Hazel songs (bet you didn’t know that). He made a meteoric rise in sports reporting, doing exactly what he wanted, no matter what the haters said.
I was excited when he went to ESPN2 from WESH. I loved his show and his rapport with Suzy K0lber. It inspired me to fly to Bristol to see if sports reporting/anchoring was something I wanted to do. It wasn’t. I didn’t think living in or around Bristol would be awesome. Stu made it look easy, but he made most things look easy.
In 2002, he was hit in the eye by a football during NY Jets practice. It could have been really bad. I know he was scared at the possibility of losing his eye. I got on a plane and flew to Connecticut to see for myself that he was ok. I’m sure having a friend pop in during a really stressful time was the last thing the family wanted, but they were gracious and wonderful, as always. And as always, Stu was fine.
The first time he was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, I started chirping in his ear about getting involved with Livestrong. He actually had made appearances at Livestrong events before he physically showed up, as you can see.
He went to the Philly Livestrong Challenge in 2011. I know he was blown away by the power and the passion of the Livestrong family. We even took him up to the top of Kilimanjaro.
Losing this particular longtime friend to cancer is shaping up to be particularly difficult. He has always been so vibrant, so full of life. that he was invincible, and therefore, so was I. I have to tell you, I feel a good bit less invincible today. That’s one of the insidious skills of cancer. You feel like you are cruising along great, and from an unexpected corner, you get knocked down to your knees. Besides losing my friend, I (and all of us, really) have lost a touchstone of the cancer-fight. He was the ultimate cancer warrior, fueled to fight to live by his love for his two girls, Sydni and Taelor, who unbelievably are teenagers now. He was determined to live. But he ran out of time. I. Hate. Cancer.
My heart is broken. I am paralyzed and crushed. But tomorrow, I’ll get back up and carry on with the fight, because that’s what I do. Because that’s what Stu would do. I love you, I miss you already.
Hurts when you’ve shared so deeply.
Thanks for sharing. I remember you both from you WESH days in Orlando. Keep fighting the good fight!
Such an inspiring post!
He was close to invincible, but I think you actually are. So pick up his sword and fight on for both of you now, Wendy. So many of us look to you as inspiration for our lives, just as you looked to him.
It may have just been his time – but it is not yours. I am so sorry for your loss, but you have a long way to go on your journey, and lots more people to inspire. You…..are…..amazing.
You were the reason I trully enjoyed watching ESPN. – I lost my loving father to Cancer in 2004 and the pain does not go away. I don’t think this pain will ever go away. I do know that some of us become better human beings because of people like you and my loving father. You will be deeply missed. Rest in peace Mr. Scott.
I am so sorry for the loss of your good friend and long-time . . . what do you call it when two people bond particularly over that shared demon, cancer? That word.
Your own situation seems to have been very challenging as well and I am glad to read that you have found support in various organizations. Having watched and gone through multpile bouts of cancer with a very close relative, who eventaully died in her late 50s, I wonder about the determination to “fight” cancer. I know I have read something about approaches that focus more on conceptualizing it as living with or around cancer, less so as a battle. This is consistent with notions of relaxation and mindfulness. My relative did “not want to give up,” in other words, she was a fighter and she fought. She lasted longer than many with her condition, but it was horrible to watch her slow and prolonged ‘fight”. I know she wanted to fight and so I do not judge her, that was her choice. But for myself, I wonder if I would want to spend the last two and a half years fighting, or pushing my body to and beyond its ordinary limits feeling, when she got bad results, that she had failed. Please never feel that you have failed!. My wish for you is that you experience joy and long periods of stresslessness, and lots of love. Be strong, and I hope that will also mean giving yourself a break from time to time, not being hard on yourself or judging yourself as unsuccessful if cancer recurs and challenges you. The quote from your good friend Stu says it best. I hope your wishes come true. Cancer is random and it sucks. Now, back to the business of living!
You are so right about this. My brother in law has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer late October 2014. Good wishers refer to him to be strong and to continue the fight. While this is all fine and good, living day to day and loving life and being with family is the real victory over cancer.
Stuart wasn’t only interested in the famous, the celebrity or the world leaders, he also made time for average folk. When Stuart first arrived on Twitter, I sent him a message just wishing him a long and strong recovery as we were both surviving from a 2007 cancer diagnosis. Imagine my surprise when Stuart responded, at first with a general hello, but those soon turned into more exchanges, more questions, shout outs for life events, and humorous responses when I would remind him how much it made me smile to watch the tough MMA fighter turn to mush when talking about or doing ANYTHING with his precious daughters. Then came the second battle. The messages of support were there as he received treatments and then rallied to keep doing the job he loved with the people he loved so much. I remember teasing him about his beloved “Fade Haircut” and pretended to think his TV career might end without it. Of course he believed he could do “bald” better than anyone! He loved the people with whom he “worked” and he loved trying to get better each day and so loved when he shared that passion with his fellow ESPNers. A Tweet saying “great job” after a midnight Sports Center always got a response, usually “WE were just having a ball!”
His last relapse got scary. Tweets became fewer, were more serious, and contained less banter. I would Tweet in the blind just to let him know I was thinking about him and rooting for him. I even sent him a clip from the movie “Hunt for Red October” I called “One Ping Only” just to say hello without the need for a reply. Days later came a one word DM , “Thanks!” Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with another cancer and announced it to my friends on Twitter. Then came a Tweet from Stuart telling me, Joe Nobody, he had my back and we would fight together. Cancer fighter to cancer fighter, no stars, no celebrity, just Stuart and Jamie trying to slay the beast. Remarkable.
I always marveled when some mindless troll would attack Stuart by tweeting things I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy and Stuart would respond to these clowns first with some TRUTH and then he would add “Dude just needs a hug!”
Well now the worst has happened to Stuart and now more than ever, this Dude, this nobody out in Twitterland needs that hug. The only slim and I mean very slim consolation is I know Heaven just got a lot more style! PEACE……
The pain never goes away it’s frozen in time. Rest in peace, beautiful one.
May you be on the wings of Eagles….
Love you Wendy! LiveStrong!
Having watched and read every Stuart Scott tribute I could manage to find in the last 36 hours, I have learned much about my favorite sports broadcaster.
Mostly, I’m overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of love and support. Not that I’m surprised; it’s just now I wish more than ever I could have met the man. God Bless, Stu.
Hugs to you.
I. Hate. Cancer. Too.
your post and the comments below, all wonderful, personal tributes – I am so sad that the world lost another amazing, inspiring man way too soon – we continue to fight this disease everyday – hope to meet you soon, Wendy – feel like I know you from Doug and the incredible documentary – thanks for your powerful spirit! – Diana Ulman (Doug’s mom)