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. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling 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 2009 2-week report

by Tony Medley

Two years ago I was about the only person outside of New York City who thought that the Giants could beat both Green Bay and New England win the Super Bowl. Last year I was probably one of the very few who gave Arizona a chance to even be in the Super Bowl, much less win it. Well, the Giants beat both Green Bay and New England to win the Super Bowl, and Arizona won the NFC playoffs and came within less than a minute of winning the Super Bowl.

So maybe it’s time to pick my team for 2009. And the winner is…The New York Jets!

Well, maybe they won’t make the Super Bowl. After all, they are laboring under a big disadvantage; no team with a USC quarterback has ever won the Super Bowl (I haven’t researched it, but I don’t think a team with a USC quarterback has even made the Super Bowl). And the Jets’ USC quarterback is a rookie, no less. So why do I like the Jets?

There are two idiocies in sport that I can’t tolerate. One is the fools in baseball (and they comprise every manager in major league baseball) who think pitchers can no longer pitch nine innings. This results in two games within a game; the game between the starting pitchers, which lasts for around 7 innings, and then the game between all the inferior pitchers who replace them.

The other idiocy is the fools (for grammarians, “is” is correct here because “is” refers to the “other idiocy,” not the fools) in football who constantly employ the “prevent defense” in the waning minutes of a close game, with a three man rush and 8 defensive backs. “Prevent” in “prevent defense” actually refers to “preventing victory.”

But the Jets now have a coach, Rex Ryan, and a defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, who loath the prevent defense as much as I.

Two examples. In the opening week of the season, Buffalo had New England on the ropes. But in the closing minutes it employed the prevent defense which let Tom Brady sit back in the pocket and wait for his receivers to come open and Buffalo lost. The next week Miami had Indianapolis on the ropes, controlling the ball for 75% of the game. But at the end with QB Payton Manning in a two minute drill, Miami only rushed three men and Manning drove his team to an extraordinarily easy touchdown to win the game.

On the contrary, when the Jets had New England down this past weekend and Brady was trying to come back at the end of the game, the Jets blitzed him every time. Brady’s timing was thrown all akilter and he didn’t have time to wait for a receiver to come open (further, of course, is what I pointed out two years ago; Brady is a pocket passer. If you force him out of the pocket, he’s less than ordinary). Result? Buffalo and Miami lost games they should have won and the Jets won the game they were entitled to win. Buffalo and Miami lost because of institutional stupidity. The Jets can go all the way this year.

I wrote about this in picking the Giants two years ago. The only defense against a quarterback is to rush him. Any great quarterback, given time to pass, can hit receivers. It’s only when he doesn’t have the time that he’s ineffective. The only team in professional football today that realizes that is the Jets, so they are my team, and they have the talent to win, even with a rookie quarterback from USC.

September 23, 2009