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: Referees are Making the NFL Unwatchable 28 Sep 15

by Tony Medley

Enough, already! I finally walked away from Sunday’s games after the refs refused to overrule a play in the Seattle-Chicago game in which a Bears’ punt clearly hit the leg of a Seattle player and was recovered by Chicago inside the Seattle 20 yard line with the Bears trailing 3-0 and about 7:30 left in the second quarter. Failure to overrule was a disgrace, but it came on top of so many phantom holding and hands to the face calls in prior games that I just gave up. What’s the point of watching football when referees decide each game with their bogus calls? None, as far as I can see. In this call, the punt clearly hit the Seattle player. The direction of the ball changed drastically after it hit his leg, but the refs later explained that there was no indisputable evidence that the ball hit the player. Pure, unadulterated baloney. Even CBS announcer Phil Simms was incredulous. All day long, referees throughout the league were calling phantom holding and hands to the face calls 30 yards away from the ball, but they can’t see a ball hit a player’s leg? And then can’t see it when the replay is abundantly clear? Something’s rotten in Denmark.

NFL games have been reduced to constant stoppages of play for referees to call penalties. One of the greatest catches I’ve ever seen was made by Arizona Cardinals’ Michael Floyd, only to be nullified by a specious “hands to the face” call on an offensive lineman 35 yards from Floyd’s catch, an inoffensive action that had no effect on the play (the ball was already in the air when it occurred). This has become the rule rather than the exception. I’m not going to spend every Sunday watching people in striped shirts throwing flags.

The Dumbest Owner in Sports? There is no argument against the fact that Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in football. He took Stanford and made them a winner, not an easy task considering their entrance requirements. He took over a horrible San Francisco 49er team and took them to the playoffs his first year with virtually no change in personnel, and they continued to be a power until last year when the ownership pulled the rug out from under him. Everybody knew and knows that he’s got a prickly personality. Even so, the powers that be in the 49ers organization (Denise and John York, who took over the team from Denise’s brother, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. who inherited it from his father, Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., but had to cede control when he pled guilty to a charge of failing to report a felony) couldn’t tolerate his personality, so they fired him. Now he’s led a relatively talentless Michigan Wolverine team to three wins in their first four games, and the 49ers are once again one of the worst, if not the worst, teams in football. You sure got Harbaugh told, Mr. & Mrs. York! Enjoy losing!

Kill the Commercial! The most annoying commercial on TV for the past few years has been actor William Devane hawking gold. He’s been telling people that he did “very well” following his father’s advice to buy real estate, apparently to establish his bona fides as an investment advisor. But he’s been telling people to buy gold since it was $1,800 an ounce. Friday it closed at $1,146 an ounce. Do you trust Mr. Devane? I would like to know if Mr. Devane has been buying gold which has been plunging in price all the while he’s trying to get people to do so. Regardless, his ads for Rosland Capital are as annoying as any I’ve seen.

That is, until DirecTV started its ads with celebrities. The one with Peyton Manning is enough to stop watching television forever, but the other DirecTV ads with other celebrities are equally inane. DirecTV must be appealing to people with IQs of 25 and under with these ads. Actually all of the ads in which Peyton Manning appears for other products are aggravating. It’s bad enough to have Michael Jordan try to get me to buy undershirts, but at least he has a nice smile. Manning’s ads have nothing that appeals to anything. Do these ads work? Am I alone in being totally turned off by them? Devane’s ads are so vexing I change channels when they appear; now I’m doing the same when I see Peyton Manning. It’s gotten so Pavlovian that I even changed channels when he trotted on the field as quarterback of the Denver Broncos Sunday night.

Grammar Police: “…Andrew (Luck) knows that there will always be a comparison between he and Peyton Manning…”(emphasis added), Adam Archuleta, CBS commentator. This is Adam’s second week in a row in this segment that is an honorific to George Bernard Shaw’s lament, “Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?”

Bad Timing: Fox NFL Sunday analyst Jimmy Johnson played a clip of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones saying that his present quarterback Brandon Weeden (backing up injured Tony Romo) throws “the sweetest balls he’s ever seen.” Johnson asked Dallas Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, who was calling the Dallas-Atlanta game, how he felt about it. Surprised, Aikman paused and responded with a smile, “Not too good.” They then said that Weeden had completed all 9 of his passes and had completed 16 in a row to start the season over the past two games. On the very next play Weeden threw a pick six interception that completely changed the momentum of the game as Dallas blew a big lead and lost to Atlanta.