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.

2013 NFL Playoffs Second Round

by Tony Medley

How could I, the best picker of NFL playoff winners over the last three years, picks Cincinnati over Houston in last week's game? Cincinnati is the worst playoff team I've ever seen, although Houston wasn't much better. There is an answer.

In 1997 I was in a pool of 25 people. We had to pick one game per week. Going into the playoffs I was close to the top. My plan was to pick Tampa Bay in the first game. However, the day before I was to make my pick I watched a show of NFL talking heads on HBO. Chris Collinsworth blasted Tampa Bay. I thought, "This guy is smart, experienced (a former NFL wide receiver for Cincinnati) and sounds like he knows what he's talking about." So I didn't pick Tampa Bay and lost most of my points when Tampa Bay won. I risked all my points on each of the next two games and won both, so I was within shouting distance of the top. It all rested on the Super Bowl, between Denver and Green Bay. Green Bay was an overwhelming favorite. All the talking heads, including Collinsworth, picked Green Bay by a big score. I thought Denver had a better team, but was somewhat cowed by the fact that everyone else was picking Green Bay. Then I thought about how wrong Collinsworth had been about Tampa Bay, took a deep breath, trusted my instinct, and risked all of my points on Denver, who won the game and I finished third.

That was a good lesson for me and I vowed to never again pay any attention to all these eloquent chowder heads who get paid for spouting opinions. Alas, the morning before I made my picks last week I was listening to Mike and Mike in the Morning, a sports gossip show overflowing with talking heads. They had some nincompoop from Houston who disparaged Houston as much as Collinsworth had disparaged Tampa Bay, saying that Houston had two offensive line men chosen for the Pro bowl who were so bad he couldn't figure out why. He also went off on how great Cincinnati's defense was. I thought about that and since I hadn't seen Cincinnati or Houston much during the year, I picked Cincinnati in an upset. To be fair to myself and my pick, Cincinnati came within one horrible pass by a less than mediocre quarterback from winning the game. Andy Dalton had Green, his best receiver, wide open for a touchdown with less than three minutes to go and if he completes the pass Cincinnati wins and I'm 4-0 instead of 3-1. Dalton overthrew him by five yards.  Even so, it was a bad pick. But it has served to reinforce what I learned 15 years ago. Trust my instincts and never listen to media "experts." About anything!

This week's games are much easier than last week's games.

Baltiimore at Denver: Teams playing in Denver are always at a distinct disadvantage because of the altitude. So even if teams are even in quality, Denver has a great advantage because it's players are all acclimated to the altitude. In this game Denver doesn't need that advantage. It's got a much better offense and a much better defense.

Green Bay at San Francisco: Green Bay is still a one-man team, even if that one man, Aaron Rodgers, is as good a quarterback as the game will ever see. Its pass defense is mediocre at best and its defense against the run not even that good. The less said about its woeful offensive line the better. San Francisco, on the other hand, is a complete team with a fine defense and a balanced offense and a pretty good running game. The only problem might be its quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, a second year pro who took over from Alex Smith when Smith got a concussion. While Smith was not ever going to find himself on a list of great NFL quarterbacks, he was competent and almost error free, throwing for 13 TDs and only 5 interceptions, completing over 70% of his passes with a qb rating of 104. Actually, though, Kaepernick's stats are similar 10-3 TDs v. interceptions with a completion percentage of 62 and a rating of 98 and only 3 fumbles, so maybe concerns about Kaepernick are overblown. He does have potential to be one of the best. He adds the run dimension and I'm sure Jim Harbaugh will fashion plays to exploit that, making Green Bay's pass defense even worse if they have to defend against a scrambling quarterback. To me San Francisco is a much better team, but the game hinges on how many turnovers Green Bay's opportunistic defense forces. Green Bay doesn't have a great defense and is almost impotent against the run, but it does well in creating turnovers. Look at it another way. In an NFL game, both teams generally get the ball for 12 possessions. If SF makes three turnovers, that means that Rodgers would have the ball for 15 possessions versus SF's 9. Big difference. San Francisco should win this game easily unless its done in by turnovers.

Seattle at Atlanta: Seattle is the most complete team in the NFL right now. It's got the best defense in the league and an offense with a good running attack, and an exciting rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson, who can both run and pass with the best of them and who makes few mistakes. The only thing that concerns me about Seattle's possibilities in this game is the loss of defensive end Chris Clemons, Seattle's best pass rusher. Atlanta has a terrific record and feels underappreciated. But it also has a San Diego Charger-like record of losing in the playoffs despite overwhelming talent. This is the best game of the weekend between two good teams. I'm sticking with Seattle, despite its having to travel across country once again and play as the visiting team early Saturday morning, which is a distinct disadvantage.

Houston at New England: Houston looked terrible last week, and has for the last month of the season. The offense was pitiful, and it wasn't because of Cincinnati's defense. Cincinnati put no pressure on Quarterback Matt Schaub but he still couldn't achieve more than one touchdown. New England has the best offense in football and its defense is better than its record indicates. Houston's defensive line might pressure Tom Brady, but that's about its only hope for an upset. Unless Houston reverts to its play of last year and earlier this year this could be a rout.