Originally Published: Aug 13, 2010 8:20 PM CDT
When I looked at Sean Suttons face at his press conference Friday, the first word that crossed my mind was...relief.
He looked like a man relieved to be free from a burden. A man relieved to have a new sense of hope. A man relieved to once again be able to embrace what the future holds. Even if he doesnt know what that is.
And I have to tell you, it was a relief for me to see that.
I may be a bit biased toward Sean. I was a student at OSU when he was a player and always felt he was unfailry criticized for being a coachs son.
I got to know Sean while broadcasting OSU basketball games. He was always extremely good to me and went out of his way to make me feel like a part of the family.
I cant imagine the pressure Sean felt in trying to follow in his fathers immense footsteps. And the pressure he felt in trying to live up to his own expectations of himself.
Through it all, he never complained or made excuses. Thats the same way he presented himself at the press conference Friday.
Fans often complain that they never get to know coaches. They say the men who lead their favorite teams simply engage in coach speak and never reveal much about whats really going on.
We now know more about Sean Sutton than we do most coaches. And, in a strange way, I think many OSU fans feel closer to him than they ever have.
From the time he was 5 years old, until the day he resigned as head coach at OSU, basketball had been the driving force in Seans life.
At Fridays press conference he said, "coaching basketball is what I do, its not who I am." And he said it like a man relieved to have come to that realization.
I think the competitor in Sean Sutton views this battle with addiction just as he once did a big game as a player or coach. That gives him a fighting chance. There were few competitors a fierce as Sean Sutton.