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Scott Details Cancer Fight In Memoir

Jason Barrett

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“Cancer can kill you, but it can also make you the man you always wanted to be.”

In “Every Day I Fight,” ESPN anchor Stuart Scott’s posthumous memoir, his voice is as distinctive and memorable as it ever was on-air. But this time the much-loved sportscaster’s play-by-play is a narration of his seven-year battle with cancer that ended with his death Jan. 4.

Written with Larry Platt, the memoir is both the story of a brash young man who took heat for being first to bring a hip-hop vibe to sports broadcasting and that of a 49-year-old father whose devotion to his two daughters only deepened throughout his illness.

“That’s what cancer does: It makes everything profound. It also makes everything urgent,” he wrote.

Scott, the son of a federal postal inspector and a school aide, joined ESPN2 in 1993, moving up to take the chair next to Craig Kilborn on “SportsCenter” in 1996. His look, “rocking the style of the day” with a baby high-top fade, signaled Scott was about to bring something entirely new to the show.

“Boo-yah!”

“Cool as the other side of the pillow.”

“Just call him butter ’cause he’s on a roll.”

GQ called him the “hip-hop Howard Cosell,” but there was also a backlash against his rap-inspired catch phrases. Some critics bashed his “urban-speak,” and he got hate mail from viewers. But Scott refused to dial it back, even appearing in music videos with rappers LL Cool J and Luke.

“I brought the in-your-face attitude of the music I came up on — hip hop — to ‘SportsCenter.’ That wasn’t a planned thing; it was just who I was. Yeah, I’m young, I’m African-American, and I’m telling you about this game like I’m talking trash with my boys back home.”

Other critics said he soft-balled questions with athletes, acting more a friend than a reporter. And the case was he had personal relationships with stars like Michael Jordan (a pal from his days at the University of North Carolina), Tiger Woods and LeBron James, among others.

But “gotcha” journalism just wasn’t his game.

“I’m interested in explaining, not judging,” he wrote. “The rapport I have with athletes comes not from slapping hands with them but having played sports . . . . I saw my role as droppin’ knowledge.”

Indeed, Scott first displayed the incredible tenacity he met cancer with on the football field, continuing to play though an eye disease coupled with sports-related injuries resultin in 18 surgeries throughout his life. In 2012, for instance, his eyeball split open after he took a football in the face on the field with the New York Jets.

He was every bit as determined about getting back to life, and work, after every bout of cancer, no matter how debilitating the treatment.

“If I’m too weak to work, I’m too weak to live,” he wrote.

Scott was in Pittsburgh preparing to co-host a “Monday Night Football” matchup in November 2007 when he got the diagnosis. Stomach pains sent him to the hospital, where he had an emergency appendectomy. Expecting to be quickly released, he was surprised when a doctor showed up at his bedside and said there were complications.

“You have cancer,” he was told.

Scott recalled his first thoughts as being, “I’m going to die” and “I won’t be here for my daughters.”

Taelor and Sydney were 12 and 8 at the time. Though Scott was divorced from their mother, Kim, he was a very involved father, sneaking into their rooms at night just to watch them sleep. Even if time was of the essence, Scott insisted surgery had to wait until he made it back to Connecticut to tell his daughters in person.

Cancer of the appendix is a rare disease with no symptoms. Scott read the statistics on the Web and came to a decision. He told his doctor after that first surgery that the one thing he didn’t want to know was his prognosis. He had no interest in how long anyone else thought he had to live.

To read the rest of the article visit the NY Daily News where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College.  The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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Sports Radio News

Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job

“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

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Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.

“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.

“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’

“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

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Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.

“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”

“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”

When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.

“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.

The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.

Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”

Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”

Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.

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