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: “Hard Knocks” and the Rams 6 Sep 16

by Tony Medley

The Rams on “Hard Knocks: The HBO TV show, “Hard Knocks,” used to show a team during the training season and the vigorous practices each team endured, along with the agony of cutting players. This year, though, featuring the Rams, 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. This year’s series is one of the worst shows ever seen on television, whether due to the way the Rams are coached or HBO’s ineptitude is unknown.

One thing did shine through. And that is that the Rams head defensive coach, Greg Williams, comes across as a profane barbarian. I did not hear him utter a sentence throughout the entire series that did not contain multiple F-bombs. His way of teaching is apparently to just yell. If this is the only way the Rams can get through to their players, they are in bad shape. It not only says a lot about Williams and Head Coach Jeff Fisher, it says reams about the quality of players they are coaching, if that’s the only way to communicate with them.

Even worse, however, is that the Rams seem at sea in their method of weeding out the wheat from the chaff. In the last exhibition game there was only one player who stood out on the team, and that was defensive lineman Morgan Fox, who made several sacks and was all over the field, in on almost every play. Fox, who played in Division II in college, was cut the following week. Apparently the Rams made their decision based on for whom he played in college than the quality of his ability in training. What’s the point of exhibition games if the players who perform well are cut? But this is the same Rams that demoted and then cut loose future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner immediately after he led them to two Super Bowls, so nothing much has changed.

UCLA, USC, and the SEC: While UCLA still has no offensive line and its defense isn’t good enough to make up for that, cocky quarterback Josh Rosen couldn’t have made UCLA fans very confident. No longer “inexperienced,” his performance in the first half was lowlighted by a stunningly irresponsible “pass” when he just threw the ball up for grabs while being tackled, resulting in an interception and a score. UCLA was completely outplayed by unranked Texas A&M.

The SEC should thank its lucky stars for Los Angeles football teams because except for Alabama annihilating USC and A&M beating UCLA (in a game that was much more one-sided than the overtime victory seems), other SEC teams lost more than they won.

Another Baywater Babe interviewer on ESPN? Darren Cahill interviewing Rafa Nadal after defeating Andre Kuznetzov, asked these two superficial, uninformative questions that are an insult to the viewing audience:

“How pleased were you with your tennis?”

“It’s great for us seeing you play at this level. At the French Open you had to withdraw; you weren’t able to play Wimbledon; you play so very well down in Rio but here in Arthur Ashe playing in this type of crowd what does it mean to you to play in this tournament and also to play at this type of level?”

ESPN shows its disdain for tennis: But that wasn’t the nadir of ESPN’ s coverage of the U. S. Open to date. With Lucas Pouille leading Rafa Nadal two sets to one, and serving, up a break at 2-1 at deuce, a critical point, in the 4th set, ESPN switched the audio from the play by play of the match to an interview with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and showed the interview and the match on a split screen, so two key points in the match were played without any audio whatsoever from the match. If that weren’t enough, with the game still at deuce they completely cut away from the match to show a full-screen interview with Tsonga. When they finally went back to the match, Nadal had broken Pouille’s serve to even the set, which he went on to win, thanks to the break of serve nobody saw, to force a fifth set. Would anybody at ESPN break from a key third down in the Super Bowl to show an interview? What did tennis ever do to ESPN to be treated like that?