The Eddie Sutton documentary, ‘Eddie’, debuted on ESPN allowing the world to receive a much deserved look into the life of Eddie Sutton and his hall of fame career.
The documentary shows interviews with many well-known people around the basketball world and outside of the sports realm including Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former President Bill Clinton.
The documentary details the meteoric rise of a kid from Bucklin, Kansas, in 1936 whose career rose up from there. Sutton was praised for his coaching of what he calls the “three D’s”-- dedication, discipline and defense.
Even the biggest basketball fans could learn from the documentary. The film showed that Sutton accepted his first college job at a college that didn’t exist yet, but he went and built a team from scratch.
“Just a typical farm boy I guess,” Sutton told Julian Nykolaiszyn, part of the ‘Eddie’ film crew.
Sutton was more than a coach, he was a builder of men.
“He was inspirational,” said Jones in the documentary. “He made you everything you wanted to be.”
However, during his time at Arkansas, the documentary showed Sutton’s struggle with anxiety and stories of late nights and early mornings.
From the point of the resignation at Arkansas, the documentary shared the hard-- but needed-- truth of Eddie Sutton. He had demons just like every other person, but he was in the spotlight and his demons were aired for all to see.
The film shared the stories of players while he was at Kentucky perfectly. Rex Chapman brought the film along perfectly. His stories of Sutton shaped the story of Sutton’s up and down journey at Kentucky.
However, the part of the Kentucky portion that hit the hardest was the toll it had on Sean Sutton, who dealt with a lot of pressure during his final season in Kentucky.
When Sutton was forced out of Kentucky, it seemed as if his coaching career was going to be an uphill battle. But after one season away from the game, his alma mater and Hank Iba came calling. Sutton took over at Oklahoma State — he was back.
“Thank God for Henry Iba,” said Darrell Walker, former Arkansas basketball player under Sutton.
OSU athletics were struggling before Sutton reshaped the basketball team.
“Eddie Sutton saved Oklahoma State athletics, saved it,” Doug Gottleib told the film crew.
Many people — away from OSU fans and alumni don’t know about the “Remember The 10” plane crash — but the film portrays how Sutton handled the situation perfectly.
“The most difficult thing that I had ever been faced with,” Sutton said.
Sutton was the rock that held the team together and was strong throughout the grieving process in the public eye.
The documentary didn’t shy away from tough topics and that made it even better because it made the story even better.
Despite such a climb after a bout with alcohol at Kentucky, Sutton fell into the bottle again after the grieving process.
The film was a roller coaster of emotions, but in the end the story of Sutton is an up and down ride that's worth it. Everyone should watch this film and learn the story of the hall of fame coach Eddie Sutton.
Sutton will always be remembered as a hall of famer.