Just before turning over the “Monday Night Football” broadcast to Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden, the “Countdown” crew offered a touching tribute to Stuart Scott, who has often missed games over the course of his seven-year battle with cancer.
Suzy Kolber, Steve Young, Trent Dilfer and Ray Lewis were joined by other crew members as Kolber broke down, saying: “I have the privilege of sitting in [Scott’s] seat each week as he fights the fight with cancer. It’s been seven years and Stuart is the recipient of the Jimmy V Award for perseverance and he said in his amazing speech . . . that sometimes when you don’t have the strength you need your friends to step up a little bit and help you. So, Stuart, we want you to know we’re sending you some extra strength and to keep fighting that fight.”
Scott, 49, only recently went public with his private battle, opening up about it in the stirring speech that Kolber mentioned after receiving the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPNs in July. (That award is, of course, named for the North Carolina State basketball coach who died of cancer in 1993.)
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” Scott told the audience. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
Now in his third battle with the disease, Scott admitted at the ESPYs that he thinks of cancer “20 hours a day,” and offered his thanks to his family, his ESPN family and others.
“This whole fight, this journey thing, is not a solo venture,” he said. “This is something that requires support.”
Last month, it was erroneously reported that he had entered hospice care and Scott shot back with a tweet that has marked his seven-year-long attitude.
“Hospice? No. fighting? YES!”