Editor’s note: This letter to the editor (my first published writing) appeared in the Arkansas Gazette circa 1985, shortly before Eddie made his “crawl to Kentucky” speech prior to Frank canning him.
To the Editor:
Why are all these people going off on Eddie Sutton? Who do they think they are anyway? Eddie Sutton is a great, great coach and I’m glad he’s here.
I read a letter that said, “Dance with what brung you.” Mister, have you forgot who brought Arkansas out of the second division of college basketball? If it weren’t for Eddie Sutton, Arkansas’s basketball team might still be playing for a few diehard fans in the cold, cold barn. I’m not old enough to remember the olden golden days, but I’m glad Eddie Sutton did come to Arkansas and I don’t know what Arkansas basketball would be like without him.
I don’t like losing either, but then again, how often does our team lose? Have people forgotten the thrill of victory when Arkansas beat North Carolina last year when they were No. 1 and undefeated? I haven’t. Arkansas will win the SWC again and they will be in the Final Four again. Have faith in that.
Eddie Sutton is a great man and a great coach who will win a game any way possible. People forget that if Arkansas were a run and gun team like the West coast teams, they probably wouldn’t make it to the NCAA tourneys. The SWC is too strong for a run and gun team to survive. If it weren’t for great defense, teams like Georgetown would’ve beaten us by at least 40 points and there would’ve been no way we would’ve beaten North Carolina. The teams Arkansas occasionally lose to are the teams that make it to the NCAA’s and some to the Final Four. So don’t knock the best thing to happen to basketball in our great state. Enjoy the pleasures in life, like the pleasure of watching an Eddie Sutton-coached team in action and winning. Some of his critics could be coaching a pro team while Eddie Sutton coached a team of grandmothers and Eddie’s team would win 60 per cent of the time. The facts speak for themselves.
Sutton is one of the two best coaches in America. Make that one of the two best coaches in the world. Like it or lump it, the man’s a master.
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