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 5 Nov 14

by Tony Medley

Not Superman: The hoopla surrounding the San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner because he pitched a complete game in Game 5 and returned three days later to pitch 5 scoreless innings in relief in game 7 confirms the supposition expressed here a few weeks ago that today’s pitchers are 90-lb weaklings compared with their predecessors. What’s so remarkable about what Bumgarner did? In the 1905 World Series, New York Giants’ Christy Mathewson pitched three nine-inning shutouts against the Philadelphia A’s in the space of five days, allowing a total of 13 hits. Teammate Joe McGinnity was known as “Iron Man” because he pitched both games of double headers many times, once three times in the same month. On May 1, 1920, Leon Cadore and Joe Oeschger each pitched all 26 innings in the 1-1 tie between Brooklyn and Boston (a game that lasted less than four hours). In the 1958 World Series, the Yankees’ Bullet Bob Turley threw a complete game shutout in Game Five. He then recorded a 10th-inning save in Game Six. The next day, in Game Seven, he relieved Don Larsen in the third inning and won his second game in three days, with 6 23 innings of two-hit relief So for people to fall all over themselves in admiration that Bumgarner pitched 5 innings three days after pitching 9 innings is laughable. A few decades ago when pitchers were true athletes like football and basketball players today and not the 100-pitch prima donnas they have become, it would be neither unique nor remarkable. In fact, in those days, Bumgarner probably would have started the seventh game on three days’ rest.

The more things change, the more they stay the same: Two years’ absence hasn’t changed Kobe Bryant one iota. Contrary to his reputation, he is the last person who should get the ball at the end of the game. If  the opponents don’t steal the ball from him (which happens approximately half the time) even while guarded by three men, he takes a forced, bad shot as all the other Lakers are forced to stand around and watch him grandstand. So against the Clippers, the Lakers were leading when the game entered the “nobody but Kobe” last 5-minute stage. Naturally, each time, he dribbled the clock down, missed five forced shots badly, and the Clippers came back to win.

Bring Back the Replacement Refs: The crew working the Rams-49ers game did worse than stink the place out, which is their normal. They whistled a play dead while a 49er was fumbling, nullifying the Rams’ recovering and running it in for a touchdown. Then in the fourth quarter they ruled a Rams’ runner out of bounds when he was returning a punt for a touchdown when he never came close to the sideline. Not satisfied, they then failed to blow the whistle when a Rams’ runner was brutally body-slammed into the ground by a 49er that happened in open field, normally a 15 yard penalty.

If Id’a know’d I coulda rode, I woulda went: In the Oakland-Seattle game, former NFL quarterback, TV analyst, and University of Delaware graduate Rich Gannon opined, “Derek Carr had his choice. He coulda ran it in.”