SBD/July 17, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Stuart Scott Lauded For Emotional Acceptance Speech At ESPY Awards

STUART SCOTT has "never been better on television than he was last night" while accepting the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the '14 ESPY Awards, according to Chris Strauss of USA TODAY. Scott has battled cancer since '07, and in the introductory video that detailed his daily routine, viewers got to see a "private side of Scott rarely captured by ESPN cameras." During his acceptance of the award, Scott "showed himself as a patient, a father and most importantly, a fighter." He spoke as a man "constantly reminded of his own mortality, one who had just been through four surgeries in the past ten days and wasn’t even sure over the weekend if he would have the strength to be at the show." Strauss: "It was raw, it was honest and it was inspiring" (USATODAY.com, 7/17). In Birmingham, Debbie Lord writes Scott's speech "provided one of the more touching moments" at last night's ceremony when he "thanked his family, friends and colleagues for helping him in his seven-year fight against the disease." At the end of the speech, Scott called his daughter, SYDNI, up to the stage to "give him a hug" (AL.com, 7/17). DEADSPIN's Sean Newell writes it was a "touching moment that even the biggest hater in the biggest house had to find endearing" (DEADSPIN.com, 7/17).

PRAISE FROM COLLEAGUES: Scott was praised on the post-ESPY edition of "SportsCenter" last night, with anchor John Buccigross saying Scott won the award for "showing a positive attitude, persistence and determination in the face of his great obstacle." Buccigross: "I did my very first 'SportsCenter' with Stuart, Grammy night 1997. He's always been kind to me since the first day I met him." Fellow anchor Steve Levy said Scott is "kind and skilled with an unmatched work ethic with what he has dealt with on a personal level." Levy: "He still comes to work, pushes himself to be the best, behind this very desk all while sparkling in front of that very camera." After showing footage of Scott's acceptance speech, Buccigross said, "He's curious, he's energetic, he's Midwest, warm. It's almost like he doesn't have cancer when you work with him at night. Every show is a big show when he steps in this studio and sits in this chair" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 7/16). ESPN’s Kenny Mayne said, “What a great example he's been to other cancer fighters out there. Stuart talks about it on Twitter all the time, talks about it on the air. Coming back to work makes him whole and healthy. ... Sports is such a thing where you have to go to the bottom and pick yourself up and come back and rise up again. Stuart’s out there covering sports, exemplifying that nature” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 7/16).
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