On Jan. 4, Stuart Scott passed away at age 49 from appendiceal cancer. It was the end of a brilliant and impactful life, one which will resonate in the sports media landscape for years. Scott, who battled cancer from 2007 until the conclusion of his life, wrote a memoir entitled Every Day I Fight. It is slated to hit stores in early March, telling the definitive stories of a man respected and revered, fighting through all types of pain.
Larry Platt, who collaborated on the book with Scott, says the memoir was written with urgency while Scott’s health continued to decline, according to Richard Sandomir of the New York Times.
“He was very much aware that the clock was ticking,” said Platt. “We were talking about whether he wouldn’t be here when the book came out, and I said, That’s just you having the last word on cancer: ‘Yeah, you thought you’d silence me, but you didn’t.’ ”
Approximately half of the book is dedicated to Scott’s life before he became ill. It covers his days as a youth in Chicago and North Carolina before he became a Tar Heel. The memoir then moves to his days behind the SportsCenter desk, a place where he made an indelible mark on his genre.
Scott was a different brand of sports anchor. Regardless of your feelings toward his style, Scott had an upbeat swagger, tossed into every highlight he narrated. It was stark and contrasting from his peers, and it changed the way sports highlights are delivered.
“By the time I got to ‘SportsCenter,’ ” he writes, “the impact of hip-hop was everywhere … except in the sports broadcast booth. My industry seemed black-and-white in the Technicolor hip-hop world, with our well-coiffed, deep-voiced anchors and their perfect diction.”
Scott’s battle with cancer is the main topic in the work, beginning with his appendicitis in 2007 while working as host for Monday Night Football. Throughout this portion, Scott remembers the experiences of multiple surgeries which included the partial loss of his large intestine, small intestine, colon, five tumors, scar tissue and 28 lymph nodes. When Scott famously made his impassioned speech at the ESPY Awards in July, he was already ravaged with liver problems and kidney failure. Ultimately, Scott wound up in New York-Presbyterian Hospital for 75 days to treat horrific swelling in his legs and to keep veins and arteries flowing before being released around Thanksgiving.
The first run of the book will be 100,000 copies. The process to get the memoir off the ground was started in February but the deal was not signed until May. The existence of the memoir was not widely known until a few weeks after Scott’s passing, when an excerpt of the book was published by ESPN.com.