The Day I "Met" Stuart Scott

The day I first "met" Stuart Scott was much like how any other young sports fan met the man.  I turned on the TV one day, graduated from watching cartoons to watching sports and news, and low and behold, as I flipped through the channels, I stopped at ESPN to watch that powerhouse sports reporting tandem of Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen.  From his commanding delivery to his incredible swag, it was hard to not like Stuart Scott.

Unfortunately, as I write this post, we heard the very tragic news that Stuart Scott passed away after battling cancer since 2007.  Amidst going through so many bouts of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, Stuart Scott showed every inkling of bravery and perseverance you could ever ask for.  While I've never battled with cancer (although my mom and aunt were diagnosed with breast cancer when I was young), I can only imagine how rough the road to recovery must have been for Stu.  But as many have said, Stu didn't lose the battle, he beat it by the way he lived.

I have never had any formal journalistic training whatsoever.  I was a communications major at Fordham University and I was a news intern at CBS News.  I worked as a legal intern while in law school at ABC News and I currently work on a freelance full-time basis in the same department I interned in.  I never worked for WFUV, Fordham radio station.  I never ran TV operations, worked as a videographer, or reported for my school's TV station.  The extent of me being a journalist has only come when I created Law and Batting Order in 2011.  That's it.  But I did it because I aspire to be a great journalist one day.  I have always looked up to Stuart Scott for telling stories in such an effective way all while grabbing the audience's attention with cool catchphrases.  

What made me admire Stuart Scott was that he broke the corporate journalist mode.  He told the world that he didn't have to be this macho man anchor who sat with a suit and tie and look so stern.  He broke the mold in every way possible.  He made telling the news fun while informative.  And while I may be a citizen journalist, his example has inspired me to fight harder and be the best journalist I can possibly be.  

Stuart Scott's journalistic legacy will live on for years and years to come.  He has left us way too soon.  While I've never personally shaken his hand and taken a picture with him, I have "met" him in a different kind of way: every time I turned on SportsCenter and heard him say "booyah."

From this journalist and sports fan, let's remember Stuart Scott and keep his family in our prayers.  RIP Stu.

2014: The LABO Year in Review

Dearest LABO Nation,

Day by day, week by week, month by month, I am amazed at the support I receive from all of you for making my vision a reality.  You have all inspired me to make Law and Batting Order a brand of journalism that can't compare to others.  Surely LABO is not affiliated with ESPN, Fox Sports, or some other major media outlet, but your relentless support has inspired me to constantly make my brand of citizen journalism better each and every time.  As I specifically look back at 2014, your support was at an all-time high.

2014 was a fantastic year on a personal note.  I graduated New York Law School in May 2014, I got a job working at ABC News after having served as a legal intern there from June 2013 until May 2014, and I formed some of the best friendships I could have ever asked for.  At the same time, 2014 was rough.  I had to postpone taking the July 2014 bar exam to address my mom's health needs, and thank God, she's recovering very well.  Because of this, I am in the middle of studying for the February 2015 bar exam, so the road to the bar exam resumes.

For LABO, 2014 was another solid year.  I got some solid interviews and episodes, had a chance to showcase my brand to lawyers and law students at the 2014 Sports Lawyers Association Conference in Chicago, LABO got a brand new set, theme song, and video intro, and most recently, LABO surpassed 1000 followers on Twitter, a milestone that I never expected or imagined!  I've had the opportunity to collaborate with Troy Kirby of the Tao of Sports Podcast, and I will always be grateful to him for giving me a fair crack at sharing my sports law passion with his viewers.

So what's in the future for 2015 and Law and Batting Order?  Will a major media outlet finally take a look at LABO and offer me a contributor spot?  Will LABO get 1000 more followers on Twitter?  Will LABO get continued recognition by sports lawyers and law students?  The possibilities are endless and while I wish that LABO continues to thrive and succeed, I can only take it one day at a time.  

For now, I'm glad to know I have an army of loyal supporters backing LABO on a daily basis, and I feel inspired to continue and improve my home-grown journalism brand one day at a time.  My only request: continue to spread the word about LABO.  Tell as many friends and colleagues about this site, in the hopes that it can serve as a useful resource in understanding all things sports law.  I believe in the journalistic value that Law and Batting Order presents, and my hope is that Law and Batting Order can only continue to grow.

With that, thank you, LABO Nation, for making 2014 incredibly special.  Here's to a ridiculously awesome and even more special 2015.

Very best always,

Tony Iliakostas

UPDATE - 1/2/2015: I've laid out my resolution for 2015.  If I can just satisfy one of these, I'm a happy camper.  Let's make it happen!