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 stories in their own words.

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


Sports Medley: 2015 Super Bowl Preview and Deflate-gate

by Tony Medley

Super Bowl: New England is a big fish in a small stream while Seattle is a whale in the ocean. At every position, Seattle is superior, except quarterback and thatís close. Tom Brady has yet to face a defense like Seattleís while Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has faced several defenses better than New Englandís, like Arizona, San Francisco, and Carolina. The main thing that concerns me is the condition of Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman who hyperextended his elbow against Green Bay, and safety Earl Thomas, who dislocated his shoulder against Green Bay. If either, or both, is below par, it will be a huge advantage for New England. Look for New England to challenge Sherman, normally one of the NFLís shutdown corners, by lining tight end Rob Gronkowski up against him as often as possible until Sherman proves heís not damaged goods. While New Englandís pass defense is improved over last year with the addition of cornerback Darrelle Revis, probably the best in the NFL, to go with Brandon Browner, itís still weak against the run, which makes Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch a big player in this game. With Wilson and Lynch running the read option to perfection, Seattleís offense has a one-two punch rivaling Babe Ruth (.356 and 60 home runs) and MVP Lou Gehrig (.373 and 47 home runs) of the í27 Yankees. Like last year with Denver-Seattle, the only way I can see New England prevailing is if Brady has a spectacular performance and Sherman and Thomas are below par and exploitable. Arguing against that possibility is that Brady does not have a deep threat and does not bear up well against pressure. If Brady is not superhuman, and if Seattle can keep tabs on Patriotsí Gronkowski, Seattle is a much better team and should win fairly easily.

Who? Me?: Initially one would think that deflate-gate would be a tempest in a teapot. But that was before the New England geniuses, Brady and Coach Bill Belichick and his viper-like personality, had the temerity to appear at news conferences. In the first, with Belichick, Billís response was akin to, ďWhatís a football? Iíve never seen or touched a football. Ask Tom.Ē Then he returned to a second news conference with a different answer, first he went into a scientific explanation of why the footballs lost air, but failed to explain why that only applied to the Patriotsí footballs and not the Coltsí footballs, which did not lose air. Then the mantra, ďIíve told you everything I know,Ē to every question, a la the interview style of crude, crotch-grabbing Marshawn Lynch (who, despite being the best running back in the NFL, will likely not be on Seattleís roster next year, even assuming he doesnít grab his crotch in the Super Bowl). Bradyís appearance was even weaker. When asked if heís a liar, he said, ďI donít think so.Ē He doesnít ďthink so?Ē Instead of categorically denying that heís a liar, his answer was like saying, ďAm I a liar? I will have to do some research on that and get back to you.Ē If thatís not tantamount to admission, what is? Then he admitted what lots of people suspected about this GQ model-looking quarterback, ďI donít know anything.Ē

Cheating always goes on in sports and competitive endeavors. In the bridge world, where Iím a competitor, cheating is so rampant among the best players that in championships they have to play screened off from the three other players where they canít see one another and canít utter a word. So much for integrity in the bridge world. Everyone remembers that in 1951 the New York Giants came back from a 13-1/2 game deficit to the Brooklyn Dodgers on August 13 to win the pennant on Bobby Thomsonís homerun in the ninth inning of the third playoff game. What they donít remember is that the Dodgers were adamant that the Giants were stealing the catcherís signals from the Polo Groundsí center field clubhouse. The Giants denied it, nothing came of it, and everyone has forgotten it.

So itís not surprising that New England cheats. Whatís deplorable is that it seems as if they go out of their way to cheat and in different ways than just stealing signals. Does anybody believe not only that Brady did not cause the balls to be deflated, but that this was the only time heís tried it? Of course not. Does anyone believe that Brady, who has been handling footballs all his life, wouldnít know the difference between a properly inflated football and one thatís underinflated? Of course not. Itís pretty clear that he did it, had it done, or acquiesced in it, and that he had probably been doing it all year if not his entire career. Why would he start with this game? The stupidity is that they did it against a team as weak as Indianapolis, and got caught. If the NFL had any guts, both would be suspended for the Super Bowl. That wonít happen for at least two reasons. The first is that without Brady, New England would have no chance in sportsí biggest showcase. The second is that Commissioner Roger the Dodger Goodell is a bosom buddy of New England owner Robert Craft. In fact, Goodell is little more than Craftís puppet. Look for the NFL to drag its feet, wait until well after the Super Bowl, and then take a draft pick away from New England.

Add Deflate-gate: There are lots of dumb rules in sport, but one of the dumbest involves the footballs themselves where each team gets 24 balls to be used when they are on offense. First, both teams should use the same footballs. Second, there shouldn't be separate footballs for playing and field goals. Third, the teams shouldn't handle the footballs; they should be in the possession of and controlled by officials, before and during the game.

Last Add Deflate-gate: All the talking heads are deploring how this is detracting from the Super Bowl. Rubbish. Thereís nothing more boring in the sports world than the two weeks before the Super Bowl with all its contrived publicity. Now everyoneís not only talking about deflate-gate, itís headlining the news! This could inspire a much larger audience because people who donít care a fig about football will tune in to see what all the hullaballoo is about. Deflate-gate is a PR manís dream come true.

 

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