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. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.


NFL 2010 Playoffs, Round 1

by Tony Medley

If the NFL were Dickens (God, what a thought!), theyíd think this year was the best of times and the worst of times. It was the best of times because everyone seemed so even. Anybody could beat anybody else (Cincinnati excepted). It was the worst of times because there were so few good teams. How many did you see this year? I saw two, New England and Pittsburgh.

I havenít written since the opening week because nothing I said in that article has changed much (except Houston sucked swamp water after they looked so great on opening day). Now weíre down to the playoffs and I have put off writing this because most of the games are pretty hard to figure. I say ďmostĒ because anybody who plays Seattle can just mail it in. In this case, the lucky winner is New Orleans. But New Orleans is probably the only team who can give Seattle a chance because there isnít another quarterback in football that has the Bret Favre stupidity of Drew Brees. These two guys throw the dumbest passes in football history (last year Favreís latest idiocy allowed New Orleans to win the game sent them to the Super Bowl, a game that was totally lost by the Saints until Favre threw his pass). But even if Brees performs down to his Favre possibilities, it seems unlikely that New Orleans could lose to Seattle, even if their only running back is SCís Reggie Bush because they lost their two real running backs, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas. Bushís effectiveness as a pro has been as catching swing passes out of the backfield, enabling him to do some broken-field running. When he takes a handoff out of a set backfield, heís much less effective.

So letís talk about the other game on Saturday, Indianapolis vs. the Jets. Thatís the only game I didnít pick correctly last year because I was rooting for the Jets. This year the Jets stunk the place out. They thought Antonio Cromartie gave them the two best corners in the league. Think again. Most of the criticism has been about the SC Quarterback, Mark Sanchez, but Sanchez has gotten a bad rap, even though he still canít throw an out. In the first place his highly regarded receivers, Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards, have dropped key passes all year long. Edwards dropped a game winner and he also dropped at least one crucial first down pass on third down. Holmes was equally butter-fingered. Those drops arenít the fault of Sanchez. Worse, the Jets didnít let Sanchez throw the ball downfield enough allowing the defense to bunch up and easily defend his short passes. If thereís a villain for the Jets' horrible offense, itís offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, not Sanchez, for his uninspired, conservative play-calling.

As for their defense, itís much weaker than last year. Their front four hasnít been able to put pressure on the passer and their blitzes have been easily defended, thanks in some part to Cromartieís ineffective coverage. But the entire defense has been inept.

That said, Indy isnít in much better shape. Although their running attack has picked up, the offensive line sucks. Peyton Manning gets rid of the ball fast, but heís missing his three best receivers, Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, and Anthony Gonzalez. Thatís the key. If the subs canít make the catches, the Jets should win.

On Sunday, Baltimore plays at Kansas City. Iím not a big Baltimore fan. Hereís another team with no offense and an overrated quarterback (Joe Flacco) that relies on its defense. Kansas City has been the surprise of the season and Matt Cassel has had a fine year at quarterback, mainly because he only throws short passes and can rely on his teamís fine running game. So the question is, is Kansas Cityís offense good enough to beat Baltimoreís defense? I doubt it, although I hate to pick Baltimore. But I must admit I havenít seen much of KC, so any judgment there is mostly conjecture.

The last game is Green Bay vs. Philly. Green Bay was devastated by injuries (losing six starters for the season), has no running game and not much of an offensive line. Philly actually has a pretty well-rounded team, even if the only thing everyone thinks about is Michael Vick. I donít think Aaron Rogers can beat Philly all by himself. However, Green Bay has a good defense and if they can keep Vick from rolling out to his left (something at which other teams havenít been very successful even though it seems like it shouldnít be that difficult), heís much less effective, although he is a much better pocket passer now than heís ever been before.

I wrote this pretty fast because of the apparent evenness of all the games. Unlike last year, when I had serene certitude, this year I think any of the games can go either way. I wouldnít put any money on any of these games, and if I turn out to be 0-4 Iím not going to take it very seriously.

 

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