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: Mike Trout Not MVP

by Tony Medley

Give me a break: Latest evidence that sports writers have bananas for brains is the unanimous (!) election of the Angelsí Mike Trout as American League MVP. Mike Trout has been in the major leagues for three years. In addition to being an outstanding defensive outfielder, his rookie year, 2012, he hit .326 with 49 stolen bases and 30 home runs. His second year, 2013, he hit .323 with 33 stolen bases and 27 home runs. Both years he was runner-up in the MVP voting. This year, 2014, though, his batting average plummeted 36 percentage points to .287 with 36 home runs and only 16 stolen bases. Worse, he struck out 184 times. Just for an example of how bad this is, Babe Ruth led the league in strikeouts 11 times, but he never struck out more than 93 times in any one year. Thatís half the number of times Trout struck out in 2014. Troutís strikeout average, .305, was 18 points higher than his batting average, .287! This is an MVP? The Babeís lifetime strikeout average was .158 vs. his lifetime batting average of .342. Trout is a guy whose reputation for taking the first pitch is so well known that pitchers just groove a fastball down the middle on the first pitch every time he comes up, so heís down in the count 0-1 right off the bat. The last half of the season, July 1-September 28, he hit a measly .263 with only 18 home runs but 104 strikeouts for a strikeout average of .330, so he struck out a third of his at bats in the last half of the season with the pennant on the line. How ďValuableĒ is that? In comparison, Babe hit 17 home runs in the month of September, 1927 alone, when he was 10 years older than Trout is now. There were arguments for his being the MVP in 2012 and 2013, but there isnít any argument that he was MVP in 2014. He wasnít.

The Old Order Changeth: The games of Sunday, 16 November, showed a lot about how the teams are shaping up this year in the NFL. The San Diego Chargers, favored by many as a Super Bowl candidate, were lucky to eke out a 13-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders, so woeful a team that they are fighting the Los Angeles Lakers as being the worst professional sports team of the year. The Super Bowl for these Chargers seems little more than a delusion. And the once powerful San Francisco 49ers barely outlasted the New York Giants, 16-10. The Giants are so bad that when they had a first and goal on the 49ersí 3 yard line with only a few minutes remaining in the game, the only play they could think of to win the game was the low-percentage fade pass, which they tried three times unsuccessfully before Eli Manning threw a rushed incomplete pass over the middle in the face of a furious 49er blitz on 4th down. How low this once proud franchise has fallen!

Poor Mark Sanchez was victimized by a truly horrible defense by the Eagles. Mark threw two interceptions and didnít help his case that heís a starting quarterback, but the rout by the Packers wasnít his fault. He was up against the best quarterback in football who completely outthought the Eaglesí coaching staff, blowing the Eaglesí defense off the field. Seattle, who just a few months ago looked like a new dynasty, has already lost four games, this time to a disciplined, well-coached Kansas City Chiefs. Rumors are that the clubhouse is in turmoil, divided between players who like the quarterback, Russell Wilson (clearly the best player on the team), and those who donít. Coach Pete Carrol is beginning to show feet of clay if he canít get this under control.

What four years of college education accomplishes for an NCAA football player: ďThatís the third or fourth interception that should have went the other way.Ē NFL Analyst for Fox Sports Ronde Barber, Bachelorís degree in commerce, University of Virginia, 1997.

 

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