Sunday's episode of 'The Sports Reporters' ended with a tremendous tribute to John Saunders

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ESPN Host John Saunders Dead at 61

Sunday's episode of The Sports Reporters was the first since the untimely passing of John Saunders. The longtime host of the show, Saunders died earlier this week at the age of 61. He was a huge figure at ESPN, one who was revered for his professionalism and his penchant for fostering intelligent discussion on a number of topics. Saunders was also one of the most familiar figures at the Worldwide Leader, as he joined the network back in 1986.

He has been remembered by a number of his colleagues at ESPN, with everyone from Stephen A. Smith to the co-hosts of His & Hers paying homage to their fallen friend and mentor. The network also released an outstanding video tribute to Saunders.

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But in terms of beauty and simplicity, the best tribute to Saunders happened on Sunday morning. The Sports Reporters ended this week's episode by lowering most of the lights in the studio and shining one on the empty seat that Saunders used to occupy.

It didn't feature any tears, and it didn't feature anyone talking about the caliber of person or journalist that Saunders was, but this was still a touching gesture. It also illustrates a much larger point: while someone will eventually fill this chair, Saunders is irreplaceable.

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