I awoke yesterday to the sad news that Stuart Scott had passed away. Scott was a longtime anchor for ESPN’s SportsCenter who revolutionized sports broadcasting. His catchphrases and style made even the dullest highlights entertaining.
While I haven’t watched a lot of SportsCenter recently, I spent many hours watching Stuart Scott when I was younger. Even though they weren’t very good, I still enjoyed Cubs and Bears highlights when Scott was behind the desk. I invited Stuart Scott into my home almost every night, which is why I was so moved by his death.
I’m rarely impacted when celebrities die. I know that all life is precious and death is terrible, but I don’t feel much when most actors or actresses die. I may have enjoyed their movies, but I never really connected with them as individuals. We don’t really connect with actors or actresses, but the roles that they play. I love Patrick Stewart as an actor but I feel much more connected to Jean-Luc Picard.
Stuart Scott wasn’t an actor; he was a broadcaster. While I’m sure he put on a face for the camera, the man reporting stories and narrating highlights wasn’t a role; he was himself. And while I never met Stuart Scott or spent any time with him, I felt like I knew him better than a lot of people.
We tend to feel a stronger connection to the broadcasters that we invite into our homes on a regular basis. People older than me speak very highly of Walter Cronkite. I never watched Cronkite but I have a deep trust in Tom Brokaw, who I watched on the NBC Nightly News growing up.
I watched Stuart Scott almost every night when I was in high school and college, tuning in to hear him say “Boo Yah!” or “Cooler than the other side of the pillow.” And like a friend who we regularly see, I’m sad that Stuart Scott has passed and will miss him.
I don’t know if Scott knew Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. But I do know that we can pray that his family and friends will feel the peace of Jesus during their time of mourning. And I also know that we can hope in Jesus’s return when there will be no more need for weeping or mourning.
How do you respond to celebrity deaths?