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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Stuart Scott is Desperate to Avoid Any Photographic Evidence of Him Chatting Up Cheerleaders

Illustration for article titled Stuart Scott is Desperate to Avoid Any Photographic Evidence of Him Chatting Up Cheerleaders

Many ESPN personalities and other sports-reporter level famous individuals are paranoid about humiliating photos of them popping up on the internet. Thankfully, most of the recognizable faces at the WWL have made peace with the notion that, yes, if they are photographed gawking at Kendra Wilkinson or leaving bumbling voice mail messages to girls in Dewey Beach, it's newsworthy to Sports Blog America. Then there's Stu Scott, who's been justifiably furious over certain rumors regarding his late night text-message habits and pretty much sworn off the credibility of blogs forever because of said rumor. Fair enough. The story that Jonathan Bachman, a photographer for the Gambit Daily, told me about Scott's behavior during last night's Monday Night Football game, he has made it abundantly clear he's not going to let the internet sully his reputation ever again.Bachman was working the sidelines during the Monday Night Football game in New Orleans and at one point was taking photographs of the stadium crowd from the Vikings sideline which was near the MNF Countdown set. Bachman was standing directly behind Scott, who just so happened to be speaking with a Saints cheerleader at the time. Bachman wasn't photographing him, but given that his lens was pointed in their general direction, it caught Scott's attention. Scott said to Bachman something to the effect of "With the internet now man? Why? All I'm asking is why?" Bachman, startled by the question, tried to tell Scott that he wasn't taking pictures of him, but it initially didn't convince Stu. Bachman said that Stu wasn't testy with him and was quite polite — Stu didn't grab his camera or even demand he stop taking photos — but he was just a little taken aback that Scott would question why he was doing his job to begin with. Bachman said he showed Scott that he was deleting the shot of Stu and the cheerleader (which didn't exist, mind you — Bachman just pushed a button and deleted another photograph to spite him) and Stu said "Cool, cool" and walked away. Scott, via ESPN media relations, had "no comment" on the incident. Just for some background via other ESPN sources close to the situation: Scott's reaction was in direct response to the "Lemme know" goofiness that caused him such distress. (And Scott was standing there, chatting with his colleague Emmitt Smith at the time. Scott was supposedly just asking the cheerleader something completely innocuous based on their conversation.) Given that supposedly harmless scenario, Scott still chose to somewhat politely guilt-trip an accredited photographer who was just doing his job on the sidelines at a Monday Night Football game. Would a candid shot of Stu chatting up a cheerleader on the sidelines during the middle of a MNF game be newsworthy? Possibly. I guess. But Bachman didn't even think of that and was unaware of the significance of the interaction. And remember what the setting is: this is a Monday Night Football game. This is not some private party where these types of concessions could (alright, should) be made. Scott's a popular sports personality at a public event and a working photographer there to get shots for a story pretty much has every right to snap things he thinks might be newsworthy. Jonathan Bachman didn't think Stu Scott talking to a cheerleader was newsworthy — however, Stu Scott did. Look, I can completely understand that Stu's doing his best to avoid getting attached to anymore tawdry rumors but, honestly, if the interaction was as innocent and inconsequential as he claims it was, why would he say anything to Bachman to begin with? Besides, he is getting divorced. He's allowed to make new friends.

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