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RIP Stuart Scott


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If anyone has forgotten his Jets connection...

He acquired his lazy eye while covering the Jets in training camp when he got drilled by an errant Vinny fastball.

I didn't recall that. I thought he got it when getting hit in the eye during a handball or squash game.

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been watching this man on MNF, SportsCenter, all over ESPN my entire life, for as long as i can remember.


RIP Scott



probably my favorite announcer/commentator on ESPN.

Even on camera Hannah Storm had tears in her eyes as she reported the news. I was saddened by hearing the news. I had read Scott had recurring cancer and I prayed for him. Very sad indeed.

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May 29, 2002|By Brian Schmitz, Sentinel Columnist

Stuart Scott, an Orlando sportscaster alum who has "boo-yahed" his way to ESPN popularity, comes back to SportsCenter after a gut-wrenching two-month layoff. Next week he'll cover the NBA Finals and seem -- to use another of his catchphrases -- "as cool as the other side of the pillow."

Scott returns humbled after nearly losing a dear friend who has seen him through the last 36 years.

His left eye.

Reading a bill for a pizza he had ordered on Tuesday was still difficult. He has no idea what following the rolling words on a teleprompter will be like.


On April 3, Scott saw his life as a sportscaster flash before his eye.

One minute he was working out with some New York Jets. The next he was dazed, frightened and hearing the team ophthalmologist say that he needed emergency surgery.

Scott was preparing a three-part series on what it would be like to go through an NFL minicamp.

"It was no joke, not a George Plimpton thing," he said, referring to the writer who authored a daffy first-person account of playing quarterback with the Detroit Lions in the mid-'60s.

Scott, 36, is no pancaked pretty boy. He's a former prep football star and semi-pro player. He caught passes, ran a 4.6 40 and performed agility drills with the Jets. He then lined up with Laveranues Coles, Curtis Martin and other players in front of a high-powered machine that flings footballs.

Scott doesn't remember how it happened. But the point of a launched football struck him in the left eye, splitting his cornea and lens. "I couldn't see out of it. I knew it was bad. I thought, `I just want to be able to see my wife and kids,' " said Scott, who has two young daughters.

Then Scott wondered, " `What's this going to do to my career?' It scared me."

It scared him because his left eye is his good eye of the pair. He sustained a detached retina in the right one in 1989 after getting hit with a basketball. His vision in it is 20/40. He says, "I don't see well enough out of my right eye to work."

Scott now counts on the right eye -- with the help of a contact lens -- to lead while the left heals. His vision is still blurry. Reading newspapers and off the computer is tricky.

Charles Barkley called to cheer him up. Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods sent word. A hob-nobber, but more genuine than Ahmad Rashad, Scott has collected famous friends.

His hop-hop, irreverent style -- entertaining to some, annoying to others -- has made him a household name. That's even if nobody in your house knows exactly what he's talking about when he says during a highlight, "That's straight off the meat rack." Saturday Night Live, though, included his trademark "boo-yah" in a sketch.

Scott will need more surgery but counts himself lucky.

"A friend said he had a buddy who lost an eye when a firecracker went off in his face," said Scott, who worked at Orlando's WESH-TV from 1990-93 before being spotted by ESPN. "I feel blessed."

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