With the new year came sad news from a very familiar place to me, from Bristol CT news about Stuart Scott. I spent 7 years working at ESPN International during the so called “Hey-Day” of ESPN. We had Craig Kilborn, Rich, Steve Levy, Boomer, Suzie, and a host of others, including Stuart Scott. Stuart Scott was a pro from the moment I first saw him on Sportsnight. While not working directly with him, you have to understand back then ESPN was like a small college campus, in both its demeanor and its size. They hadn’t expanded yet, we all went to grab food from the Birch a great if not strange family owned burger joint on the corner of the ESPN campus, never figured out what nationality they were, but the burgers were delicious. (The birch would be eventually bought and torn down by ESPN for of all things a parking lot.)
I would run into Stuart there, or in the halls of ESPN or in the gym, which was the smallest gym in the world, it made the gyms in a motel 6 look like planet fitness. Stuart Scott always had a smile on his face. If he saw me he’d ask if I was doing “all that “mida mida” stuff, which I was. (I was in charge of all the Spanish and Portuguese broadcasts and translations.) Stuart Scott would even bust out some Spanish on me every now and then, that wasn’t really important to me at the time, what was is that he knew my name. To have a huge big time anchor recognize you in the halls made me feel great, and gave me an ego boost too. But it wasn’t just me, he seemed to know everybody, from the production assistants to the executive producers. I remember before I left ESPN in 2000, he invited me to a charity auction, where he was the auctioneer. He was so engaging, Stuart Scott putting on a show for everyone to bid. But then I thought about it, it was for charity, and Stuart Scott got more bids than I had ever seen in a charity auction. He was always “on” for the right causes, which said a lot about him personally. He adored his children, and enjoyed life to the fullest. Every now and then I would tell him a joke, my humor was strange back then, but he laughed anyway. Even when it wasn’t funny, that’s a good friend. I wont soon forget Stuart Scott, thanks for knowing what I did at ESPN Stuart, and more so for caring enough to get to know me. Rest in Peace Amigo.
Click on the link below for a great tribute from the great people at ESPN