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ESPN anchor Stuart Scott passes away at age 49

"When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer."


Fernando Alfonso III

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 4, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 8:41 pm CDT

Longtime SportsCenter anchor and catchphrase creator Stuart Scott died Sunday morning. He was 49 years old.

Scott had battled cancer since 2007, after it was discovered during an emergency appendectomy.

“Talk about a shocker,” Scott said in 2007 following his diagnosis, according to ESPN. “But I feel good, am in great hands medically, and the doctors are confident they got all the bad stuff. I’m not the type of guy to let this eat up my life. I’ve got strong faith and family and friends who are tackling this with me. I can’t find the words to express how much I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers. I probably won’t be able to get back to you all; but know it means a ton.”

Over the next eight years, Scott fought his disease in front of the American public. On July 16, 2014, Scott was honored by ESPN’s ESPYs with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. The award is named after famed college basketball coach Jim Valvano, who died from cancer in 1993 eight weeks after giving a speech at the ESPYs.

He also gave a heartfelt speech days after receiving further cancer treatment.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” Scott said. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

Not only was Scott one of ESPN’s most recognizable personalities, he coined the popular catchphrasesCool as the other side of the pillow,” “boo-yah!” and “Can I get a witness from the congregation?

Here’s the full video of Scott’s ESPYs speech.

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Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

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*First Published: Jan 4, 2015, 1:24 pm CST