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 8 Dec 14: Why Losers Lose

by Tony Medley

Why losers lose: Last week with division-leading Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1 at the time, now 8-4-1) leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9 at the time, now 2-11) 14-13, Tampa Bay was driving for a winning field goal but with no timeouts. With the ball on Cincinnati’s 40, 1st and 10, within field goal range, Tampa threw a 20 yard completion to have a 1st down on Cincinnati’s 20 yard line with 44 seconds to go. All they have to do is run down the clock and kick a field goal for the win. Wait! Cincinnati’s thrown a red flag challenging the play, which they can’t do in the last 2 minutes. Even so, the officials took a look at it and discovered that Tampa had 12 men on the field for their pass play. How often do you see a penalty for too many men on the field? It might happen once a month in the entire NFL. But for a loser it happens on the very play that would set them up to win the game. So the 20 yard gain was erased and Tampa was penalized 5 yards to take them out of field goal range. They proceeded to throw three incomplete passes bringing up fourth down. So with 12 seconds to go Tampa had 3 alternatives: (1) a Hail Mary pass into the end zone; (2) a long 62 yard field goal attempt; and, (3) a 25 yard sideline pass that would get them a 1st down and allow the receiver to step out of bounds to stop the clock. So what did they do? They threw a pass 10 yards down the middle, which was incomplete. Even had the pass been completed, though, the clock would have run out and they wouldn’t have had a first down, anyway. There is a reason why losers lose. They’re losers.

Rules Revision: The offensive pass interference penalty is inconsistent with the defense pass interference penalty. When there is defensive pass interference the pass is deemed completed at the spot of the foul, even though the receiver might not have caught it. When there is offensive pass interference, however, it is only a 15 yard penalty against the offense. Why aren’t both treated the same way so that if an offensive pass interference penalty is called the ball is awarded to the defense at the spot of the foul, or make both just 15 yard penalties?

Oooops: The CBS graphic for the Cleveland-Buffalo game had two Cleveland wide receivers with the same name, Andrew Hawkins. Both Hawkinses also had the same face and the same number. There were only five receivers whose pictures were shown on the same screen. Shouldn’t someone at CBS have seen that two of them were the same person?

Jockspeak: “When we were down we was kicked a lot.” Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots who received 3 years of education at the University of Miami. “Me and my wife had one bad night.” Ray Rice, former Baltimore Ravens running back, educated at Rutgers University for three years.

Talking Heads-speak: “Me and you both know…” Trent Dilfer, ESPN analyst, educated at Cal State University (Fresno) for three years. “If this was a year ago…” Mike Greenberg, co-host of ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning. Greenberg received his degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. As most of my readers will recognize, the verb should be the subjunctive “were,” used for statements that are contrary to fact. If Greenberg didn’t learn this in four years at a journalism school, what did he learn?

Baywatch Babes Dept.: Pam Oliver, Fox Sideline reporter at the Colts-Browns game, “It was just before 11 a.m. Johnny Manziel has just got to the building.” Oliver received a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida A&M University but her course of study apparently didn’t include English grammar. Jenny Dell, CBS NFL reporter interviewing Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, “Another 200 yard plus game out there; what’s your secret?” If that’s not idiotic enough, she followed up with this gem, “When did you feel the momentum shifting in this game?”

Coachspeak: Mike Pettine, Cleveland Browns, “My kids will be mad at me if I’m having money deducted from my paycheck for criticizing officiating.” Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins, “If I have to motivate a pro football player to play football, then we need to get new pro football players.”

Nice Touch: For the coin toss in their game against the Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams Coach Jeff Fisher sent the six players the Rams got in 2012 for the trade with the Redskins in return for the draft rights to Robert Griffin III (RGIII).

Potential Lawsuit: The Cleveland Browns defensive unit has a clear cause of action against Coach Mike Pettine for sticking with quarterback Brian Hoyer instead of going with Johhny (Football) Manziel in the game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Browns’ defense forced Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck into his worst performance of the year but had to sit and watch Hoyer miss by 15 yards a receiver who was wide open for a touchdown, and miss simple outs so badly nobody was close enough to even touch the ball, much less catch it. Hoyer was dreadful, once again completing less than half of his passes, but Pettine stuck with him the entire game, losing at the end by one point, 25-24 (two of Cleveland’s three TDs were scored by the defense) a key, probably must-win, game in the Browns’ quest for a playoff spot.

NCAA Got it Right: Frame this for posterity because you will probably never see that subhead again. But as far as the national championship mini tournament goes, the Committee picked the correct four teams, Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State.