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: NFL Blackouts in Los Angeles & Super Bowl 50 1 Feb 16

by Tony Medley

NFL Blackouts: After ignoring Los Angeles for more than two decades the avaricious NFL now is definitely coming back with one team, the Rams, and maybe two. All of this is being done with a lot of self-congratulatory backslapping by craven Los Angeles politicians without putting it to a vote. Oh, sure, the first day the Rams opened up to take season-ticket sales they got 48,000 applications. But there are more than 18,500,000 people who live in the greater Los Angeles area, which means that less than 3/10 of one percent of the population was interested in buying tickets. If the politicians would put it to a vote Iím confident that the return of the NFL to Los Angeles would lose in a landslide.

Lost in all the hullabaloo is the fact that now the 99.7% of the population who doesnít care about the NFL in Los Angeles is going to be subjected to the NFLís brutal blackout policy.

The basic blackout policy is that if a home game is not sold out within 72 hours prior to the game, the game will not be televised in the home market. Up until now those who subscribe to NFL Sunday ticket have been able to see every game except the occasionally blacked out San Diego Chargers games. Even there the NFL took a punitive action against residents of Los Angeles. In a particularly egregious action, the NFL extended the normal 75 mile blackout radius from the stadium where the game is played to 116 miles so that Los Angeles would be sure to be blacked out. That rule applied only to Los Angeles! Another policy to encourage sellouts is that no other NFL game can air opposite the local franchise's broadcast on the primary market's affiliate due to NFL rules or due to a blackout.

For what itís worth, the NFL allegedly suspended its blackout rule in 2015 after the FCC repealed its blackout rules, but the NFL still controls what games are shown, by whom televised, and when, and if. So it still has the power to enforce blackouts.

This isnít the first time that the NFL has conspired against Angelenos. Many people arenít aware of this, but when the first Super Bowl was held in Los Angeles in 1966 it was televised nationally by both CBS and NBC. But it was blacked out in Los Angeles! Even though the cost of a ticket was only $12, I was so incensed by the blackout that I didnít attend. I was joined by the vast majority of Angelenos and the attendance that day at the L. A. Coliseum was only 61,946 which meant that a third of the seats were vacant.

If Eric Garcetti really wants to represent the people of Los Angeles and not just kowtow to the NFL billionaires, he should insist that a condition of allowing the Rams or any other NFL team into Los Angeles is that no games will ever be blacked out in the Los Angeles market.

Super Bowl: Two years ago Denver was an overwhelming favorite to beat Seattle. I was one of the very few prognosticators who picked Seattle to win, but I was the only person who said it wouldnít be close, and it wasnít.

Next Sundayís Super Bowl lines up to be one of the biggest mismatches in history. Denver is a weak team from a weak conference, no running game, a weak-armed quarterback who has lost his accuracy, and a plethora of butter-fingered receivers. Their ballyhooed defense racked up impressive numbers but it was against feeble AFC opposition. And the game is being played near sea level, so Denver wonít be able to count on the mile high altitude of the Rockies to wear down its opponentís defense. Unlike New England, Carolina has a fine offensive line to protect quarterback Cam Newton.

Carolina, on the other hand, has a real football team, well-rounded and powerful, with a quarterback who is a better than average passer and a superlative runner. It has a better defense than Denver who built its reputation against much better NFC competition. Its front seven is the best in football.

Denverís only hopes are 1) that decaying, 39 year old quarterback Peyton Manning miraculously turns into 30 year old Peyton Manning and that he can make quick reads against Carolinaís rush and defensive secondary, and 2) that Denver can exploit the only weakness in Carolinaís defense, the Panthersí two safeties. Alas, Peyton can no longer throw long. Absent those, this looks like a blowout for Carolina.

 

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