The outpouring of love and tribute for the late ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott continued well after wild-card weekend was over and the late-late Sportscenter rolled credits.
The number of and diversity of those whose cup runneth over with recollections of Scott is astounding with fans, pro athletes, colleagues, and former associates joining in to weave a blanket of courageous remembrance. Sunday’s AFC and NFC wild card games were preceded with a moment of silence, a tribute not easily bestowed. It was, however, two former ESPN co-anchors—Rich Eisen and Dan Patrick—who celebrated Scott’s passing with eloquence, poise, and even a sly touch of humor.
Rich Eisen, whose heartfelt tribute on the NFL Network pregame show took place moments after learning of Scott’s death, will forever be a video treasure that spoke to a profound friendship. Yet Eisen’s narration over the highlights of the Colts-Bengals game showed an amazing respect for Scott. Eisen used a litany of his partner’s famous catch phrases to describe the action in the Colts victory.
He’s like a man smoking at a gas station… about to blow up
Rex Burkhead breaks off somethin’ proper
Jeremy HIll—as cool as the other side of the pillow
Can I get a witness from the congregation
Dan Patrick, who hosts a daily syndicated radio show (simulcast on NBCSN) as well as the NFL Sunday night game of the week pregame show, partnered with Scott on a number of Sportscenter telecasts. Patrick, a thinking man’s sports icon, spoke to how Scott’s style and swagger changed the direction of the old boy network ESPN had become.
“It wasn’t popular in the building,” Patrick said of ESPN’s early reaction to Scott’s hip-hop manner, during his Jan. 5 broadcast. “It was not part of the network’s cookie cutter world.”
Patrick said “a part of us died a little bit” with Scott’s passing. And, after a dramatic pause while he welled up, Dan ended with the one word fans around the sports world will remember to be owned by the late sportscasting pioneer.
Screengrab via USA Today/YouTube