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: Dumb Decisions Transcend Sports 14 Sep 15

by Tony Medley

Can the Fifth play of the opening game ruin a season? Pittsburgh receives the opening kick from New England. Run 18 yards; Swing Pass 9 yards; Run 4 yards, first down; Play action pass 14 yards; Draw play 11 yards for a 1st & 10 on the New England 24. With Pittsburgh knifing through the New England defense like it’s soft butter, bumbling Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley decides to call a trick play with a wide receiver throwing a pass! 8 yard loss!! Momentum shifts drastically. Next play Pittsburgh is called for a 15 yard holding penalty. Offense stalls, field goal missed. New England scores two touchdowns and Pittsburgh is limited to a field goal at the end of the half after a surrealistic Haley-concocted two minute drill that looked as if it had been devised by Moe, Larry, and Curly.

What would have happened had Haley not tried something cute and just allowed his offense to dominate and drive in for a touchdown in the first couple of minutes? We’ll never know, but I think that one idiotic play call shaped the season for both teams.

You Can’t Keep a Bad Man Down: No sooner had New England enjoyed the benefits of a corrupt judicial decision, they go back to basics and fouled up Pittsburgh’s communications during the first half. Instead of their coaches being able to communicate privately with one another, Pittsburgh’s system broadcast the New England play-by-play. New England’s response? “Who? Us?”

Dodgers Streak: Why did the Dodgers get hot a few weeks ago? It had nothing to do with any decision Don Mattingly made. It was no coincidence that the winning streak coincided with the injury to Yasiel Puig that put him on the disabled list. This precluded Mattingly from keeping Puig, the worst rally-killer in baseball, from batting in the middle of the lineup. With Puig and his strikeouts and weak ground balls out of the lineup, the Dodgers went on a streak that assured them of a place in the playoffs.

The question is, will Mattingly have the gumption to keep Puig on the bench when/if he comes off the disabled list? I’m betting not. Donnie Baseball loves those .200 hitters like Puig and Rollins. Mattingly has already said that spectacular rookie Corey Seager (presently hitting .412) will be benched so he can keep Jimmy Rollins and his .220 batting average and reckless base running in the lineup.

Stupid and Incompetent:  Stupid #1: With 1:19 left in the first half, Oregon State, trailing 10-7, was punting on 4th down against Michigan. The snap went over the punter’s head (Nick Porebsky) and he tracked it down on the five. He picked up the ball and tried to run but was tackled on the three. His choices were, recover the ball and give it to Michigan on the three from which they would either get a 7 point TD or a 3 point field goal, or carry it into the end zone for a safety giving two points to Michigan. Anybody with half a brain would just take it into the end zone for a safety, but not Porebsky, he gave Michigan a first down on the three yard line and they scored a TD to lead at half time 17-7 instead of 12-7 had Porebsky taken the safety.

Now, incompetence. Neither of ABC’s two “expert” announcers, Chris Spielman and Sean McDonough, had the perspicacity to mention the blunder, so they are apparently only there to tell the down and time remaining in the game. Anything other than that is beyond them. I have yet to hear anybody else criticize or even mention this glaring blunder.

Stupid #2. In Sunday’s Dallas-Giants game, the Giants were leading by three with a 3rd & 1 on the Dallas one yard line with 1:43 left in the game and Dallas out of time outs. There is only one logical thing to do here, try a line plunge. If it’s short of a TD, let the clock click off 40 seconds and then either kick a field goal, or try again. If it fails, Dallas has 99 yards to go in less than a minute and no timeouts. But we’re dealing with professional athletes and coaches here, so what genius Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin called was a pass, which, if incomplete, would stop the clock.

Here comes stupid #3, Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning. The play was busted from the start, so what does mastermind Eli do? He throws the ball away! Stopping the clock! Why not take a 7 yard sack back to the eight yard line, then either kick a field goal or run the last play, running the clock? But, no, Eli throws the ball away, stopping the clock, and they kick a field goal. So Dallas gets the ball back in good field positon after the kickoff is run back to the Dallas 28, but with 94 seconds on the clock, plenty of time, trailing by 6. They drive down and finally score the winning touchdown with 7 seconds remaining. How good are you at math? It took Dallas 87 seconds to score. 94 minus 40 is 54 seconds, which is the maximum they would have had if the Giants had let the clock run, probably 10 seconds less. 54 seconds is shorter than 87 seconds, so Giants win.

Eli Manning is paid over $16 million a year, and Coughlin, is paid $5.25 million a year for making these not-so-tough decisions.