At some point early in high school, I took a trip with one of my best friends to Duke University’s soccer camp. The camp and soccer were all great fun, but the airport home was where the real memory was made. While waiting for a flight in North Carolina, a group of us soccer guys witnessed one of the coolest moments of our young lives. Stuart Scott, SportsCenter anchor, a demi-God to us sports-craved adolescent boys, walked right by. We were all obviously, blatantly staring. This was Stuart Scott. Not only was he a star on ESPN…he was also the coolest sports guy on all of television. He had an SNL skit with Tim Meadows impersonating him and his incredible “Booyah!” catchphrase. He had his own SportsCenter commercial with Roger Federer. Oh, and I forgot to tell you. More than anything in the world, I wanted to be an SportsCenter anchor. This was my idol.
As he approached some beautiful woman that had been there to meet him, he turned to the lot of us, and in as cool of a deep, velvety voice as possible said something deep and profound: “‘Sup y’all.” Yep. That was it. Could it have been any cooler? Well, I suppose he could have said “Booyah!”, but I got to thinking later in life and decided that would’ve been too obvious. Right?
Anyway, so I eventually grew out of idolizing Stuart Scott and even moved on from my own SportsCenter dream. Every time I saw the guy on television or read his little column in ESPN the magazine, I sort of laughed at the whole thing. But something he did recently caught my attention. In every issue of the magazine, Scott responds to a host of questions from readers. I suppose he gets tons of mail. I also suppose he has some real freedom to choose which questions he’ll respond to. I suppose something else now, as well. I suppose he’s a pretty solid Christ follower. Check it out:
Dave from Bethesda, Md. writes: “What’s with the Bible citations on Tim Tebow’s eyeblack, Stu? If I were a player and had “There is” written on one side of my face and “no God” on the other, would be that okay?”
Here’s Scott’s response: “Dave, if that’s what you want to do, I don’t care. But Tim and I and billions of other believers in the world know you’d be wrong. I’ve seen the workings of God many times in my life, like when my two daughters were born. If you don’t believe in God, watch a child be born. Then if you still say you don’t believe in God, that’s okay. The thing is, I think He’ll watch over you anyway!”
At the end of that little number, there was only one thing missing. “Booyah!”
In all seriousness, this little moment was about ten times cooler for me than that old airport thing. There was so much good going on here that I fell in love with the man all over again. Just to name a few:
1 / One of the things that always excited me about potentially making it big in the television business was the real opportunity I’d have to share Christ on a large platform. How awesome is it that Stu just laid it out so clearly in a magazine that thousands of folks all over the world read?
2 /He’s firm, but grace-ful. Again, he could’ve just been an arrogant prick to the guy. But he choose to extend kindness. Well…mostly. At least as much as I would’ve liked.
3 / And lastly, the truth about seeing a baby being born hit home especially hard for me. I left that hospital room in love with Abraham and Amy…but even more with God. The whole process was certainly a miracle, one God performs countless times each and every day.
Stuart Scott, to quote you my friend, you certainly are “as cool as the other side of the pillow.”