Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.

Tony’s 2007 Oscar Nominations & Winners

by Tony Medley

 Every year I think the Academy has sunk as low as it can go, and that the only way is up. Every year it surprises me with worse nominations than the year before. Surely, this year it has reached rock-bottom. It has nominated two films that are on my “least enjoyable/most disappointing” list. To be fair, both, “Michael Clayton” and “Atonement,” satisfy what seem to be the prime requirements for an Academy Best Picture nomination; they are too long and excruciatingly boring. Those qualifications put them in the same category as former Oscar® winners “Chariots of Fire” and “The English Patient.”

Since the Academy is nothing if not consistent, two of its other three nominations for Best Picture,“There Will Be Blood,” and  “No Country For Old Men” while not making my negative list, also had the similar qualifications. The former was without a plot. The latter had a good run until its unsatisfyingly ludicrous ending.

It’s an insult to try to place these films in the same category as “From Here to Eternity,” “Chicago,” “The Sting,” “The French Connection,” “Patton,” “The Godfather,” (both) and other legitimate winners that audiences actually enjoyed. In the old days a film had to be entertaining to be nominated for an Oscar®. That’s one reason they are called “The Good Old Days.”

The other nominations aren’t much better. The Academy gave Cate Blanchett an Oscar® for her caricature of Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator” (2004), a performance I found revolting. So naturally they would nominate her for her performance in the melodramatic “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” ignoring the more Oscar®-worthy performance of Abbie Cornish in a supporting role in the same film. But, then, who ever heard of Abbie Cornish? How many people saw “Somersault” in 2006? Not many, and apparently nobody in the Academy.

It also nominated Javier Bardem for what I thought was the weakest performance of his career in “’Devil,” and ignored his much better performance in “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Naturally it nominated George Clooney for Best Actor for his performance in the incoherent, counter-reality “Michael Clayton,” ignoring at least 100 better performances in better films. But, then, George is an A-lister on the correct side of the Hollywood political spectrum. He’s a shoo-in for a nomination almost every year, no matter how mediocre his performances or how poor his films.

Recently the Academy often finds itself a dollar short and a day late. Ellen Page should have received at least a nomination last year as Best Actress for “Hard Candy” (as I suggested in my review of that film), but apparently the Academy had never heard of her. So this year she finally gets one for “Juno,” which is clearly deserved. I could go on and on, but I won’t.

So, once again, it’s up to me to correct the record. Unlike the Academy, I don’t penalize a film for being a comedy or a romance or entertaining. Also separating me from the Academy, I will consider films if they are released in January instead of December. But, let’s be fair here. The Academy is full of geezers and they must have short term memory problems. How could they be expected to remember January in December?

Here’s the way I would have nominated. My winner is indicated by an asterisk:

Best Original Screenplay

Marc Lawrence (Music and Lyrics)

Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers (Fracture)

David Wolstencroft (Beyond the Gates)

*Diablo Cody (Juno)

Werner Herzog (Rescue Dawn)

 Best Adapted Screenplay

Susan Minot and Michael Cunningham (Evening)

David Benioff (The Kite Runner)

Ronald Harwood (Love in the Time of Cholera)

*Robert Eisele (The Great Debaters)

Steven Zaillian (American Gangster)

 Best Supporting Actor

Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma)

Armin Mueller-Stahl (Eastern Promises)

*Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada (The Kite Runner)

J. K. Simmons (Juno)

Denzell Whitaker (The Great Debaters)

Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men)

 Best Supporting Actress

Haley Bennett (Music and Lyrics)

Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)

*Taraji P. Henson (Talk to Me)

Abbie Cornish (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)

Emily Blunt (Dan in Real Life)

 Best Actor

*Hugh Grant (Music and Lyrics)

Don Cheadle (Talk to Me)

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

Will Smith (I Am Legend)

Javier Bardem (Love in the Time of Cholera)

 Best Actress

Claire Danes (Evening)

Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)

Carice Van Houten (Black Book)

Naomi Watts (Eastern Promises)

*Ellen Page (Juno)

 Best Director

Marc Lawrence (Music and Lyrics)

Paul Verhoeven (Black Book)

Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum)

Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)

*Jason Reitman (Juno)

 Best Movie

The Bourne Ultimatum

Music and Lyrics

Black Book

Gone Baby Gone


The Great Debaters