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: Dump Kroenke (If Only that were Possible) 5 Dec 12

by Tony Medley

Stan Kroenke is, to me, a Los Angeles villain. Although I had been a 50 yard line Rams season-ticket holder for decades, I was perfectly willing to have the NFL stay away from Los Angeles forever. There are reasons that the NFL is a pretty despicable organization, but that’s not why Kroenke occupies a spot in my pantheon of villains. It is because he brought the Rams and the NFL back to Los Angeles.

I always considered Los Angeles to be the only true major league city in the United States because it did not have an NFL franchise. I don’t personally know anybody who wanted, or even cared about, having the NFL back in Los Angeles. It was a chorus of sportswriters and sportscasters and politicians who kept bemoaning the fact that there was no NFL team here, not the ordinary citizen of Los Angeles, who couldn’t have cared less.

The Rams have drawn flocks of fans to their first few games here and they have telegraphed their ignorance of the game they think they love by yelling, “We want Goff!” Sportswriters and sportscasters joined the chorus. None of them realized that the problem with the Rams isn’t at quarterback. Now they’ve got Goff and they are silenced and perplexed that the Rams are just as bad, if not worse, than they were with Case Keenum at quarterback.

I’m not saying here that the Rams shouldn’t start Goff. The season is a disaster; might as well let the kid play and get some experience. The risk is that he gets massacred because of his horrible offensive line that can’t protect him.

Enter Kroenke again. He announces that he has signed inept coach Jeff Fisher for another two years. Last week I detailed the dismal record of UCLA football coach Jim Mora and wondered what more evidence could be required to convince UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero that he wasn’t the answer to UCLA’s football program. So Guerrero came out, like Kroenke, and gave Mora a vote of confidence. Mora will make $21 million through 2019 plus $930,000 in potential performance bonuses. And you wonder why the State of California has unfunded debt and liabilities of $400 billion when a person like this with a record of increasing failure can be paid that kind of money and stay in his job?

Turnabout is fair play, so here is Rams coach Fisher’s miserable record as Rams head coach and director of player personnel:

                Wins  Losses       Ties

2012         7      8             1

2013         6      10

2014         6      10

2015         7      9

2016         4      8


That’s 30 wins, 45 losses in five years, a winning percentage of 40%, and, like Mora, he’s getting worse.

Here’s what I said in the first week of September about the TV show “Hard Knocks” that followed the Rams in practice,  “…it showed a team that mostly engaged in silly childish games with balloons and such, and trips to amusement parks with their significant others and children. It seems as if there was so little practice that only about half of what HBO showed was actually devoted to football.”

It should have been an embarrassment. The show certainly indicated to me that the Rams were going to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year, and that’s the way it’s turned out.

With the loss to the Saints two weeks ago, Fisher became the second most losing coach in the history of the NFL, with 163, passing Tom Landry (winner of 2 Super Bowls, 5 NFC Titles, and 13 division titles) who took 418 games to lose 162 and was a leader in losses due to longevity, not incompetence. Fisher managed to lose 163 in only 336 games.

After being decimated by the Patriots Sunday, he is now only one behind the all-time leader, Dan Reeves. And for this, Krazy Kroenke rewards him with a two year extension through 2018. Why is Los Angeles saddled with all these decision-makers who reward failure and don’t know their elbow from third base about sports?

More stupidity: Speaking of stupidity, what is Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doing in a game with four minutes left and his team leading 26-3? In football anyone can get seriously injured on any play. There is no earthly way the Patriots could have lost that game in the last four minutes, yet there was superstar Brady out there risking injury playing the last throwaway four minutes. In addition to protecting Brady from being injured playing these meaningless minutes, why wouldn’t any coach use this opportunity to let his backup quarterback and other bench-warmers get some playing time? Just because a coach wins a bunch of Super Bowls doesn’t mean he’s got any common sense.