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: 2016 NFL Playoffs, Round 3 18 Jan 16

by Tony Medley

Clock Management 101: I’ve been railing all year about how NFL coaches don’t seem to know the first thing about basic clock management. Now, here we have the crème de la crème of the NFL and what do we get? New England, Kansas City, and Arizona all showing an abysmal ignorance about the importance of the clock in their games last weekend. New England, with a two touchdown lead over Kansas City, 27-13, had second down at midfield with 6:43 on the clock. They could take almost two minutes off the clock if they proceed with two running plays after letting the clock tick down to one second before taking the snap from center (as Peyton Manning does and Brett Favre did). Instead, Tom Brady called for the snap with 8 seconds left on the clock and tried another pass. Brady was rushed and instead of just taking a sack and letting the clock run, he threw a left-handed incompletion, stopping the clock with 6:42 left. Then on third down he threw yet another incomplete pass, running only 3 seconds off the clock to 6:39. So New England punted with 6:39 left on the clock when they could have run it down to 5:30 or less.

Not to be outdone in dismal clock management, then Kansas City ran a two minute drill that took more than five minutes to score. Of the 16 plays, 8 did not stop the clock and KC took an average of more than 35 seconds to run each of those 8 plays, an absurdity when they needed two scores to tie. Here’s the play progression:

Got ball at 6:29                                                                     Seconds elapsed

OB 6:21

Incomplete 5:52

Pass in bounds next snap 5:20                                                           32

Incomplete 5:16

Complete pass Snap 4:47                                                                   29

Incomplete 4:42

Complete, clock running 4:35

Snap 4:16                                                                                             35

Ob 4:07

Pass complete clock running

Snap 3:37                                                                                             30

Run OB 3:30                                                                                        37


Snap 3:00                                                                                             30

Complete pass to 1 Yd line clock running                                               28

Snap 2:32, play stopped at 2:27; no play off before 2 minute warning      32

Snap 2:00 complete pass at 1:54                                                             28

Snap 1:26

 16 play drive  Total plays without clock stoppage 8: time 281 seconds; average 35 seconds

They did score with 1:13 left to come within one touchdown, which gave them the slim opportunity to get the ball back with an onside kick, which failed. However, had New England used common sense and good clock management and used running plays instead of passes, Kansas City wouldn’t even have scored their last touchdown, much less an opportunity to tie the score.

Arizona, leading by 4, had a second down on the Green Bay 24 with 2:34 left on the clock and Green Bay out of timeouts. All they had to do was run a running play to take the clock to the two-minute warning, run another running play after the two-minute warning to run the clock down to approximately 1:10 and then kick a field goal, giving Aaron Rodgers less than a minute to go the length of the field for a game-tying touchdown. Instead, Arizona threw an incomplete pass, stopping the clock at 2:29, meaning that their next third-down play took the clock down to the two-minute warning, when they kicked their field goal, which gave Green Bay the ball with 1:50 left which was just enough time for Rodgers to drive Green Bay down for a game-tying touchdown on the last play of regulation. If they run the ball instead of running that stupid pass play on second down, the game is basically over.

It’s agony to watch these multi-millionaire nincompoops fail to understand clock management which has been basic to the game since its inception.

Here are my picks for next Sunday.

New England over Denver: If Denver plays the same loose zone pass defense against the Patriots it played against the Steelers, Tom Brady will have a field day throwing to Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Rob Gronkowski. New England’s defense is at least as good as Pittsburgh’s and Peyton Manning is a shadow of his former self. Denver’s butter-fingered receivers, the worst in the league, dropped so many passes against the Steelers I stopped counting. That will be deadly against New England. The best thing Denver has going for itself is the altitude that kills defenses in the last quarter. The Patriots should be in Denver for the week prior to the game to help them get acclimated so they might not fade in the fourth quarter as did Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Otherwise they face the same fate.

Carolina over Arizona: As I’ve said before, I’m no fan of Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer, who made innumerable horrible throws last week against Green Bay. He’s going to be under even more pressure from Carolina’s tough pass rush, despite its weak deep secondary. Unless Palmer shows himself to be the player everyone but me thinks he is, Carolina led by Cam Newton shouldn’t have much trouble here, especially since Arizona has been less than impressive in its last two games. If Palmer thought he was under pressure last week, he ain’t seen nothin’ until he sees Carolina’s front seven. If Arizona can’t get some rushing yardage out of rookie David Johnson, it could be a long day for Arizona despite Larry Fitzgerald. For the record, I’m rooting for Arizona, so won’t be unhappy if I’m wrong on this pick.