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The Humble Soul
6/5/2010
John Wooden has left this earth physically. But for one man from a small town in Indiana he has touched so many lives. It's in the way he lived and how he taught all of his students the principles toward successful living. He was a man full of wisdom, full of quotations that weren't just for saying of them. He meant those principles to be applied to life. Although his stage was at the campus of UCLA he was destined to expand his wisdom beyond his players, beyond the walls of academia. Wooden left his pyramid of success. It's a realistic look at principles that when applied can lead to success. If his teams never achieved the level of proficiency then he wouldn't have had so many people listening intently to ever word he said. Even though he's gone after living for 99 years his spirit of who he is will live within all those that had the opportunity to listen to him speak. Those that didn't get an opportunity to hear him speak should find his books and feed on his words. To read his words is a simple task. To live his words another. His quiet, humble, mild-mannered approach to life was a mirror of all that he taught. It is rare to find a Man that with such a quiet disposition could gain so much attention. Like a Master of Martial Arts John Wooden was a Master of Coaching Basketball but he was a Master at Communicating Principles of Successful Living. Thanks John Wooden for your contribution to mankind.

1967-74  At a time of much revolt by young people.  10 National Championships, 88 game win streak.  Pyramid of Success. 

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Wide World of Sports - Every sports all year round.  "Spanning the globe to give you the constant variety of sports.  The thrill of Victory and the agony of defeat.  The human drama of athletic competition".  They had all the best commentators.  It was the single show everyone watched from 1961 until the birth of Cable Sports television (ESPN & others). 

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Cassius Clay - Muhammad Ali   A heavyweight champion.  But he was more then a boxer.  He believed in a certain way to live and paid a heavy price by going to jail.  He achieved everything he wanted to by his own wit and grace.  He could talk and back it up.  He said, "I'm the greatest of all time".  Every boxer tried to copy him and no one ever came close. 

Howard Cosell
  The man on the microphone who teamed up with Ali.  These two had interview sessions down.  A lot of people have come and tried to duplicate what they did together but no one comes close.  Cosell did a great job on Monday Night Football.  But his choice of words during a telecast might have been the beginning of the End.  He said, "look at that monkey go".

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Bruce Lee -   It was a time that everyone watched karate/kung fu movies.  No one could get close to Bruce Lee.  His vision for himself was beyond the time.  Bruce didn't want to be a stereotype.  He wanted to get beyond it.  I've watched his movies over and over again.  A young man who died young.  But his "art of fighting without fighting" and you can't conform but you must be like water and have the ability to adapt.  During this period Ali was boxing and Bruce Lee was showing the Martial Arts world his one inch punch. 

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The Munich Olympics - This event can't be erased.  It will always be in my memory.  The Olympics is a parade of nations who compete against each other.  But this Olympics became a hostage situation and murder of Jews.  It was a terrible tragedy.  But this is what hate can do.  This part of man seems like it will always occur no matter what age you live through.
 
This is the same Olympics that featured one of the most dominant performances turned in by a swimmer from the USA Mark Spitz.  He earned 7 gold medals.
 
The USA basketball team refused to appear for the medal ceremony since the Russians beat them after the officials extended the game 3 seconds. 

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1980 USA Hockey Team - The US Hockey team was equal to a bunch of College Kids facing the most experienced professional Hockey team in the world.  How the USA managed to beat the Soviet Union I still don't believe it.  After beating the Soviet Union the USA team still had to win against Finland for the Gold medal.  How they did that is the Miracle on Ice.

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Jim Brown - An NFL running back.  He dominated by averaging over his 9 years 5.2 yards every time he touched the football and 10 touchdowns per season including 2 touchdowns receiving.  He was a 2 time all american at Syracuse in the sport of Lacrosse.  He was one of the most punishing runners to hit the gridiron.

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Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Richard Williams - It's a story that you can't imagine coming true.  A father told a friend that his girls (from Compton) would end up dominating tennis.  Serena will eventually be better than her sister Venus.  Richard Williams was called crazy but all of this happened.  Serena Williams has risen from the depths of the tennis world and looks ready to claim major titles.  But no one ever dominated like these sisters did.  Can they do it again? 

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Tiger Woods - No other golfer is like him.  If he should equal 18 major titles like Jack Nicklaus then fine.  But if he doesn't I'll never forget how Tiger does his job.  He went from the Ed Sullivan show, as a child.  To becoming the whole show for golf.  When he's in contention the last day you better watch out.  As for being a father and husband that doesn't have anything to do with his golf game unless he makes it his excuse.  Elin his wife right now is seeking a divorce and Tiger sure loves his women.  When he does become single if he has a lot of women I don't care.  All I want to see is if he can win 19 major Golf Championships in his career.  Obviously the longer he doesn't play the more it will seem that he was the second best golfer ever.

Jack Nicklaus - He is the measuring stick for Tiger Woods 18 major Golf Championships.  He is the best.  If Tiger passes him he still was the first person to measure every golfer to come after.

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The Boston Celtics - As far as team sports go no one will match what they did.  Teams try and 3 peat but they won 8 straight NBA Titles from 1958-1965.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  While he is known for playing a long career and scoring many points.  The shot that everyone knew would go in was the "Sky Hook".  No one has come close to duplicating yet.  It was one of the most beautiful and accurate shots in basketball.

Rick Barry - A Hall of famer with the Golden State Warriors.  But what stands out about Barry is the way he shot free throws.  At the time it was known as the granny shot.  Barry shot the ball below the waist with his hands on the sides of the basketball.  But although people made fun of it he was always one of the top free throw shooters in the game.  How does 90 % for his career sound.

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These two incidents remain in the memory bank.  But these two should be placed in the Hall of shame.
 
1st this play will never be erased and I don't think will be duplicated although someone could be as dumb.
 
Ohio State University football program faced Clemson.  The play was a routine interception.  The player racing down the sideline.  But it was the wrong sideline to run on.  The player who wasn't expecting the Head Coach Woody Hayes to stick his arm out and close line him.  This incident led to the firing of Woody Hayes.
 
2nd, coaches are suppose to be professionals.  Especially along the sideline in the NFL.  But Kevin Gilbride the current Offensive Coordinator for the New York Giants was working for the Houston Oilers trying to get his offense to execute the "run and shoot'. 
 
Buddy Ryan was the Defensive Coordinator in Houston and hated the offense and Gilbride.  Ryan formally of the Eagles and Bears.  He was always making nasty comments directed at Gilbride.  But Buddy Ryan took it upon himself to confront Gilbride during one game as the offense wasn't able to move the ball.  Ryan punched Gilbride in the face.  It was said by Wade Phillips the coach of the Dallas Cowboys who was an assistant "Buddy did this all the time".
 
One coach is an automatic in the Hall of Shame and while the state of Indiana and now Texas allows him to still coach he should have been fired long ago.   Bobby Knight.

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Manny Pacquiao - is pound for pound one of the best fighters I've ever seen. In order to make this hall of fame list he's going to have to beat Floyd Mayweather in 2010. If he does that no matter what happens after he'll always be in my Hall of Fame. If he losses then I'll take his name off. This fight will separate him from everyone else. Right now this fight isn't going to take place.  Mayweather could fight Mosley instead.

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