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.


2104 NFL Playoffs Second Round

by Tony Medley

Three good games decided on the last play, so it didnít really matter who picked winners. Thatís luck or fate. Either team could win. I picked two winners and two losers.

Analysis:

Philadelphia lost because of its coach. The game plan for the first half was ridiculous, not allowing Foles to throw long, limiting them to one touchdown. In the second half when he was allowed to throw long they scored. Also at the end of the game when it was clear with about a minute and a half that New Orleans was in position to kick a field goal, he should have given them a touchdown. Philadelphia was moving in the second half against Rob Ryanís 3-4 defense because if you give a passer like Foles enough time he can complete pass after pass. And Ryan was only rushing three men. Their only chance at that point was to surrender to a 6 point deficit and hope that Foles could drive the team down for the winning touchdown. Letting New Orleans run out the clock and kick a field goal was stupid.

San Franciscoís offense was the worst coached offense in the playoffs. They appeared clueless, having to call two timeouts at the beginning of the second half because nobody knew what was going on. As to that point, itís not worth wasting a time out to save five yards at the beginning of the second half, but they went ahead and called the timeouts wasting them for a possible two minute offense at the end of the game. I finally saw why they didnít roll over teams they should beat easily. They need a new offensive coordinator. Look what happened to San Diego when they grabbed Ken Whisenhunt after he was fired by Arizona (a stupid decision) and made him their offensive coordinator. The last four games of the season the Chargers lines started taking control. They started moving the ball and made the playoffs (although they barely beat Kansas City's benchwarmers in the last pivotal game of the season) and then rolled over Cincinnati in the first round. But Green Bay threw away the first quarter with puzzling play calling that resulted in three 3 & outs. If they had let Rodgers throw the ball at the beginning, Green Bay probably would have won the game. As it was they outplayed SF, despite losing almost their entire defense to injuries but still only losing on the last play of the game. While the referees did let them play, for which I was grateful, the refs missed an obvious holding call on Green Bay that allowed Rodgers to avoid a sack and get a first down with less than 8 minutes left. That was a crucial non call that almost cost the 49ers the game. And the holding call was obvious. The Green Bay lineman grabbed a 49er who was bringing Rodgers down around the neck and pulled him off.

As to Cincinnati, I was more right than wrong, even though I didnít pick the winner. I said Cincinnatiís main weakness was its quarterback. I could see that San Diego was going to win easily at the outset when they were controlling both lines of scrimmage. Cincinnati was never in the game, completely outplayed and outmanned, their defense shown to be paper tigers. And quarterback Andy Dalton played one of the worst games at quarterback in the history of the playoffs.

I was right about Indianapolis even though I said it was a guess. Go with a quarterback like Luck if you arenít sure.

Now for this weekís games. To start out with, this time Iím going with teams I want to win if I think the games are close, but I will indicate which teams I like emotionally, whether I pick them or not. It was hell last week pulling for teams I didnít like (Cincinnati) just because I picked them. Even though I say this, two of my picks are upsets, and Iím picking them not because I like them but because I do think they can win.

New Orleans at Seattle: Seattleís injury situation is better than it has been all year. I donít think that Pete Carroll will run as dumb an offense in the first half that Phillyís Kelly ran, although last year they kept getting behind in the first half and had to bail games out at the end, so who knows? I thought Seattle was the best team last year and I think so this year, too. I like both these teams, and New Orleans defense is better than most people realize. Seattle.

Indianapolis at New England: Indy falls behind and then makes fantastic comebacks. New England guts it out with less than stellar talent. Both quarterbacks are without their favorite receiver. I havenít seen either team play this year until the playoffs, for any extended time, anyway. Itís tough to go against Tom Brady, but Indy has a better defense, and a younger quarterback who can run, something Brady canít do. I like Indianapolis and I'm not a fan of New England. Indianapolis.

San Francisco at Carolina: San Francisco, which looks like the best team on paper, did it again last week, barely eking out a victory over a Green Bay team that was down to playing refugees from the Little Sisters of the Poor on its decimated defense. How can San Francisco make these games so close? But on the other side, Iím not thrilled with Cam Newton. I saw him throw a truly idiotic pass near the end of the first half about a month ago, resulting in a turnover that cost them a score. Iím not thrilled, either, with the 49ers despotic, humorless coach. Whatís he doing to stifle this offense? The 49ers are healthier than theyíve been all year and their best receiver, Michael Crabtree, is back healthy (which is why they beat Green Bay). I think that Colin Kaepernick is both a better passer and a better runner than Cam Newton. I donít have any emotional attachment to either of these teams, but San Francisco is the better team and thatís my pick.

San Diego at Denver: San Diego totally dominated the line of scrimmage last week against Cincinnati. Denverís defense isnít that good. But Peyton Manning gets rid of the ball faster than any quarterback, so San Diego's secondary will be key. As I said, San Diego has the best offensive coordinator in football in Whisenhunt. However, heís out gallivanting around interviewing for every NFL head coaching job extant instead of tending to business. I have no idea how that will affect San Diego, but it canít help. Denver has two big advantages, Peyton Manning and acclimation with Denverís mile-high altitude. The latter is really hard to overcome and is a huge advantage for all Denver teams. I like San Diego and I donít like Denver, my least favorite team in the playoffs. Iím going with San Diego.

 

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