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.
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: Are
All Coaches This Dumb? 2 Jan 18
by Tony Medley
Lincoln Riley, meet
As someone who has had the misfortune to have viewed all of the Los
Angeles Dodgers games over the past two years I’ve seen more than my
share of illogical, imbecilic decisions that defy common sense and cost
their teams wins. So I thought I might be immune to the stupidity of
coaches. Then I saw Oklahoma play in the Rose Bowl. After scoring a
touchdown with 6 seconds to go in the first half to take a 17 point
lead, this genius, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, had the Sooners kick
off with a squib kick. With six seconds to play! Naturally, as could
have been expected, Georgia recovered it near midfield without a second
running off the clock. That gave them time for a five second pass to the
sidelines to get close enough for a 55 yard field goal. While that only
shortened the deficit by 3 points, it completely changed the momentum
and Georgia totally dominated the second half to win the game in
overtime. Worse, the coach took the game out of his Heisman Trophy
quarterback in the second half, concentrated on the running game, and
the potent offense sputtered and died, even in the two overtimes! The
bottom line is that the coach choked.
Forget the huge
change in momentum, though, without that field goal the game doesn’t end
in a tie to go into overtime because Oklahoma wins by those 3 points.
However, that said,
has there ever been a top rated team in the history of the NCAA with a
more inept defense than Oklahoma? While local fans of UCLA and USC have
seen their shares of bad defenses (Jim Mora’s UCLA defense couldn’t
tackle, cover, or rush the passer), you don’t expect to see that quality
of ineptitude from a team playing for the National Championship. It
wouldn’t surprise me if LA High School could score 30 points against
Special teams? Where?
USC’s special teams against Ohio State were truly “special.” The Trojans
didn’t block anybody on kickoffs, so they generally started inside their
15 yard line as Ohio State tacklers rumbled down the field unimpeded.
Jalen Hurts, Alabama’s quarterback, must be blind as a bat. In the first
quarter against Clemson with a first down inside the 10 yard line, he
faded for a pass and had all the time in the world. He had a wide open
receiver in the end zone right in the middle of the field. Hurts stood
there and didn’t see him, which was almost impossible. So he rolled out
to his right to try to run and then as the receiver moved to the same
side with him, Hurts finally saw him and threw for the TD. How could
anybody worth his salt as a quarterback fail to see a receiver wide open
in the middle of the end zone when he had perfect protection?
I get letters:
Worcester, MA reader Ron Motta says in response to my comments on the
49ers quarterback Jimmy Garappolo: “Terrific
comments all around.
interesting are the Jimmy Garappolo observations. Around here, they are
beginning to really question Bill Belichick’s wisdom about playing it as
close to the vest as he did. Clearly, he didn’t want to move him and
waited until the very end. Supposedly he turned down big packages around
the draft, but wasn’t ready to make the move. Then as the season
progressed, Tom Brady was playing at a ridiculous level, and decided
that, rather than losing Jimmy G to free agency (for a compensatory #3)
he took Frisco’s offer for a very high 2. Supposedly, his hands were
tied because JG would NOT sign long term in Cleveland, so the 9’ers were
the lucky recipient of a helluva QB at a bargain price. Bottom line:
It’s still a business!”
Sexual harassment of
the sports viewer:
The Rose Bowl got off to a dismal start on ESPN as sideline reporter
Maria Taylor interviewed Georgia Coach Kirby Smart before the opening
kickoff. She had known for several weeks that she had this assignment
and all she could come up with was this imbecilic question, “You said
that the biggest element of this game is managing emotions. When the
initial seconds tick off the clock, what will be an indicator your team
is ready to go?” Coach Smart looked stricken at such an unanswerable
question, then, after a momentary pause to come up with something on
national television, gave an answer that was equally uninformative
before trotting away to start the game. If ESPN is going to pander to
sexism by having attractive women ask questions about a game they never
played, they should at least prepare them with questions to ask that
are, at a minimum, semi-relevant to something.