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. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their their stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

The Campaign (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 85 minutes.

Not for children.

This could have been a devastating indictment of political campaigns, but it would have taken the talent of, oh, W. S. Gilbert who put the needle to British politicians in the late 19th Century. Unfortunately, this is put together by the members of the Hollywood left, led by director Jay Roach and Will Ferrell, who constantly sinks into the depths of poor taste in his use of language. Ferrell apparently thinks acting like a nincompoop and using foul language equals comedy.

Instead of being an even-handed indictment of politicians, the film comes across as a diatribe of bias, blaming political corruption on corporations in the form of the Motch Brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd), who are clearly based on the Koch Brothers, who support Republicans. But there's nary a mention of all the money and political power of unions, who use their members' mandatory dues to support Democrats. There's apparently no realization by the Hollywood left that corporations are the main source of American jobs.

Worse, Ferrell and Roach think that coarse language is humorous. As a result, they throw in every bad word in the English language for Ferrell to spout. Without all the bad words, this might have had some redeeming value, but Ferrell is so vulgar that it's off-putting and offensive.

Satire should be relatively subtle to be effective. Ferrell, whose character might be based on the scummy democrat John Edwards, is anything but subtle. His opponent, Zach Galifianakis, who is probably supposed to be a Tea Party composite, is unfortunately one-dimensional. The contrived situations that make up the bulk of the film are simply ridiculous. That they are generally of extreme low moral tone, handled correctly could have been hilarious and effective, an appropriate comment on the morality of politicians in general. But they are so clumsy that nobody laughed at my screening and it was on the Warner Bros. lot. When something goes so far over the top like this, it comes across as juvenile silliness.

Back in the day producers protected children from scandalizing language and situations when they appeared in films. In this one Roach has the two young children of Zach Galifianakis say things that are disgusting. It's bad enough to have to listen to them describe things their characters have done, but one can't help but wonder how their parents could allow them to mouth words like these in the script just because they are appearing in a movie.

The feel-good ending wimps out, completely contradicting Ferrell's character which the entire film has exerted every effort to construct. Such an ending undoes what seems to be the point of the film.