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A Tribute to Craig Sager: The Best That Ever Was
On Thursday the world lost a great man, not just a great sideline reporter. Craig Sager meant so much to so many people not only in the sports community, but around the world. The way he was able to touch so many lives through his passion for his profession, his strength in times of adversity, and how he literally stared death in the face and never stopped fighting to beat it and to encourage others to beat it as well. Craig Sager was the man, plain and simple.
When I was 11 I watched my first NBA game. It was a playoff game, the Eastern Conference Finals, between the Detroit Pistons and the Miami Heat. Craig Sager was working that game and I remember asking my dad who the guy in the funny suit was. He told me that it was Craig Sager, the best reporter ever. I was so excited, thinking that I was getting to watch the best to ever do it, granted I had never seen anyone else do a sideline report before. After the game I told my dad that I wanted to be like Craig Sager, and he is the reason that I am currently aspiring to enter the sports industry. Craig Sager became a role model and an inspiration to me. The way that he just didn’t care what people thought and strove to embrace his individuality was so incredible to me and really encouraged me to embrace my individuality the same way.
When Craig Sager was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, I was devastated. It was like watching Super Man lose his powers or Muhammad Ali getting knocked out. It was so shocking that something as awful as cancer could happen to someone who was so amazing. But it was in his time fighting this disease that the world got to see Craig Sager for who he really was, a fighter. He was determined and driven to beat cancer and to find a cure for the disease so that it could never hurt anyone
ever again. That’s just the kind of person Craig Sager was, one that would always but others before himself, no matter how bad off he seemed to be.
Sager’s efforts were recognized around the sports community and lead to his winning of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at this year’s ESPY awards. Like many previous winners, Sager delivered a powerful, iconic speech that will be remembered for years to come. In his speech, Sager reminded everyone that “time is simply how we live our lives” and to never stop living every day to the fullest.
I had the joy of watching Craig Sager call games for the last 9 years, and I looked up to that man more and more every time he would show up on my TV screen. He has truly been one of the most influential people in my life and I never had the pleasure of meeting the man. That just goes to show how incredible Craig Sager was. The way he lived his life, and how he was able to touch the lives of so many people around the world was absolutely incredible and he will absolutely be missed by not only myself, but by the world.
I encourage everyone that reads this to carry on the fight that Craig Sager left us with, to live each day to the fullest and to dare to be different. Embrace your individuality and always remember to be the best you that you can be. Thank you Craig Sager for everything you have done to inspire me, and I will always strive to be #SagerStrong.
By: JARROTT BROWN (@jarrott_brown)