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. Also available on Kindle.

NFL 2012 Playoffs, Second Round

by Tony Medley

Since I was probably the only person in the world to pick all four games correctly last weekend, I guess I have no choice but to continue, even though I intended to take this year off. So here are my picks for the Second Round. Be warned, however, that I ended up picking three visiting teams and the overwhelming majority of playoff games are won by the home team.

New England over Denver. I like Denver, and Iím rooting for them. I think they have the wherewithal to defeat New England. They have a terrific defense and if Tim Tebow can pass as accurately as he did last week they certainly have a shot, considering the fact that New England's defense is terrible, both on pass and run, and Denver's run game is first rate. The main reason I'm picking New England is that coaches can make terrible decisions that grab defeat from the jaws of victory, and that's what Denver Coach John Fox tried to do last week against Pittsburgh. Denver had a two touchdown lead going into the second half. So what did Fox do? He changed from a defense that rushed Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was injured and couldn't scramble, which is his strength, to a three man rush that gave Ben all the time in the world. The result was that the Steelers drove to two touchdowns, easily tying the score. Fox's defense was idiotic. If he would do this last week, he could do it next week, so Iím picking New England but my heart's not in it.

New York over Green Bay. The weakness of this year's teams is epitomized by a woefully deficient Green Bay team that went 15-1. This is a team with no defense, no offensive line, and no running game. It relies on a great quarterback who can pass and scramble, a fleet of fine receivers, and an opportunistic defense that, despite its deficient talent, has an enormous edge in turnovers. The Giants, on the other hand, seem to me to be the best team in football right now. They have a terrific defense, although their main weakness is their secondary, the best running game in football highlighted by Brandon Jacobs who reminds me of Jim Brown, a fine offensive line, a quarterback who is having his best year on the same level as Rogers and Brees and Brady as the best in football. What really makes the Giants special now are two receivers who have become almost superstars in the last few weeks, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. Considering the quality of the respective teams, this shouldn't even be close. If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I'd get over to Vegas and dump a bundle on the Giants and take the 9 points that they are getting, even if they are the visiting team in rabid Green Bay.

New Orleans over San Francisco. San Francisco has been the surprise of the league. Concentrating on defense in a world of quarterbacks, the 49ers only lost two games this year. Their offense is competent, concentrating mainly on not making turnovers. New Orleans, on the other hand, disdains defense (a lot like Green Bay) with a hot offense led by Drew Brees. Unlike Green Bay, however, New Orleans has a fine offensive line and a very good running game, highlighted by offseason change from Reggie Bush to 5-6, 190 lb. Darren Sproles, who left San Diego to become a Saint. While I can't explain how they could lose to teams like the Rams and Tampa, I think New Orleans has too much firepower for the 49ers. But New Orleans' Jekyll & Hyde personality bit me on the foot last year when they got blown out by Seattle in the first round, and this year's San Francisco is a much better team than last year's Seattle. With that as prologue, I think they've learned their lesson, despite SF's home field advantage.

Baltimore over Houston. This is the toughest game for me. I haven't seen much of either team this year, but they are similar in makeup and style. Both have fine defenses, OK running games, and questionable quarterbacks. This is a key game for Ravens qb Joe Flacco, who has a good record at home. The key to the game is Houston's inexperienced quarterback, T. J. Yates, a rookie fifth round pick. Although Houston is younger and faster, the game should turn on the two quarterbacks and who knows how Yates will respond? Also hurting Baltimore is the condition of its best wide receiver, Anquan Boldin, who had knee surgery two weeks ago and whose condition is questionable. Both have good defenses and good running games. Even so, I'm picking Baltimore because I think Flacco will finally perform in a big game, and Baltimore rarely loses at home, mainly because Flacco performs much better at home than on the road. But I'm rooting for Houston.

January 13, 2012