Saturday, June 5, 2010

They Called Him Coach

Friday night the world lost a little something - and in a nice change of pace those incompetent a##holes from Continental Airlines had nothing to do with it. At age 99, legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden died. According to the report on espn.com, he died peacefully in his hospital bed where he had been since taking ill on May 26.

A couple of years ago for my birthday, a friend gave me Coach Wooden's book, "They Call Me Coach". I finally got around to reading it last week. I took it with me to Colorado and read it on the plane. Fortunately, I had it packed in my laptop computer bag on the trip home and not in my suitcase, thus ensuring that this particular item of my personalty did not get sucked into the vortex known as the Continental Airlines Baggage Handling System.

While I do not pretend to be the end-all and be-all on what people should read (because that would require a level of concern/interest in my fellow bipeds that my DNA simply does not support) I would wholeheartedly recommend Coach Wooden's book to everyone. It has far less to do with his basketball prowess (the only man in the Hall of Fame as both a player and as a coach) than it does with his philosophy of life and the code of conduct by which he lived his and expected those who played for him to live theirs. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is truly an extraordinary read. Hell, the Foreword by Bill Walton is worth the price in and of itself.

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. Words to live by irrespective of whoever you are and whatever you do. And a mantra that served Coach Wooden well for a century.

-AK

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