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: 2017 NFL Playoffs Round 2 9 Jan 17

by Tony Medley

As predicted here last week, three of last weekend’s games were pro forma slam dunks. The fourth, New York at Green Bay, had the promise of being a good, close game. While the Giants overwhelmed the Packers for the first 28 minutes of the first half, they were only leading 6-0. Had their vaunted wide receivers, in particular prima donna Odell Beckham, Jr., played even average football, they should have been leading by at least three touchdowns going into halftime.

But Beckham and the entire wide receiver corps had flown to Florida to party with Johnny Manziel and Justin Bieber the first day of the week. This showed a disrespect for the game and for their team that should have been unacceptable to the coaching staff. I don’t buy the excuse that they are “grown men who can do what they want to do on their off time.” There is no “off time” during a season, especially during playoff season.

I’ve read Kenny Stabler’s biography, “Snake,” about his wild life and how he caroused and drank and bedded any loose women he could find before just about every game (and after every practice). I’m also aware of Joe Namath’s dictum that what he needed the night before any big game was “a babe and a bottle,” but what Beckham and his other wide receivers did put enormous pressure on them to perform. And perform they did not. Beckham was particularly atrocious. He dropped an easy pass on third and long that would’ve given the Giants a first down on the Green Bay 27, forcing them to punt. Shortly thereafter he dropped a touchdown pass that just about any wide receiver in the league would have caught.

I said last week that the only chance the Giants had to win this game was if Eli Manning had a good game. Well, Eli Manning did have a good game. He was let down by Beckham and his receiving corps, who rewarded accurate passes with drop after drop.

Aaron Rodgers proved once again that he’s not a man to bet against. His passing in the second half was phenomenal, and his receivers made tough catches despite the loss of favorite receiver Jordy Nelson, who got hurt on a dirty, illegal hit by Leon Hall who hit him in the ribs with his helmet, that was obvious and should have been penalized. But today's NFL referees are so bad that it's not surprising that their horrendous officiating carries forward into the playoffs.

However on one pass play Rodgers made one of the greatest runs I’ve ever seen on a football field, avoiding a huge Giants rush, cutting left, cutting right, cutting left again, never moving more than a yard or two, and finally throwing a pinpoint pass to Davante Adams (who made a very good catch) for a touchdown. Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, and Barry Sanders never made a better run, even though Rodgers was just dancing back and forth. It was one for the ages, and then the pass he made was almost as impossible to believe as the Hail Mary at the end of the first half. In fact, in well more than a half century of watching football, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better play.

This week’s games:

Seattle at Atlanta: This is the toughest game of the week to pick. Atlanta has a highly-rated offense and Seattle will be missing the mainstay of their defense, free safety Earl Thomas. Except for him, though, Seattle is relatively healthy. Seattle is experienced and has a better defense. It also has quarterback Russell Wilson, who knows how to win. Despite Atlanta’s big offense, I’m picking Seattle.

Houston at New England: This is another game that needn’t be played. New England.

Pittsburgh at Kansas City: KC is well coached, has a great defense, and doesn’t make many mistakes. But, in my opinion, Pittsburgh is a much better team all around and has Le’Veon Bell, who I think is the best, most cerebral runner in football, and Ben Roethlisberger, who shines over KC’s quarterback, the steady but unspectacular Alex Smith. Pittsburgh.

Green Bay at Dallas: Green Bay is decimated with injuries. They are playing with green cornerbacks. Don’t look for Dallas receivers to fold up and die like Beckham & Co. Green Bay has some talented receivers, but will miss their best, Jordy Nelson. I really hate going against Aaron Rodgers, and will be rooting for him. But I’m picking Dallas.