We here at Arkansas Expats Inc. would like to briefly interrupt the Arkansas-LSU-we're-gonna-get-screwed-by-the-BCS hysteria to offer a hearty congratulations to former Razorback basketball coach Eddie Sutton, who was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday. The other inductees were Bob Knight, James Worthy, Chris Mullen, Cazzie Russell, Ralph Sampson, Eddie Einhorn and Joe Vancisin.
(By the way, we will not rest until Dwight Stewart is a member of this select institution. We'd also like to see his birthday become a federal holiday.)
The first sports team I ever rooted for was an Eddie Sutton-coached Razorback squad. My memories of watching his Arkansas teams are wonderful and seemingly endless. As a level-headed 12-year-old, I was furious at him when he said he "would've crawled to Lexington" for the Kentucky job, but all is forgiven now. Looking back, it's obvious that Eddie was understandably relieved to no longer have to deal with the soothing presence of Frank of the Ozarks. (Plus, he was battling some serious personal demons.)
Nolan Richardson took Razorback basketball to unprecedented heights, but the man who made Arkansas a player on the national scene - and the man who introduced the state to the wonders of the male perm - was Eddie Sutton.
Thanks a bunch, Eddie, and congratulations.