Billy Beane’s 5 rules for making deals

October 5, 2011

Billy Beane revolutionized the way baseball players are valued and also exploited the advantages of timing. The reason his Oakland A’s played like a different team in the second half of their 2001 season is because they were a different team. Their general manager, on a shoestring budget, had scooped up undervalued players right before the trading deadline …

John Wooden: the path to greatness

September 7, 2011

After his death in 2010, at age 99, accolades poured out for John Wooden, the greatest men’s college basketball coach. Wooden had 10 national titles. Collectively, the four runners-up have 13 titles. In 27 years at UCLA, Wooden sometimes won with more talent than his opponents and sometimes with markedly less. How? Here’s a glimpse.

Army’s coach had one condition

May 26, 2011
Earl “Red” Blaik coached football at West Point for 18 seasons, compiling a 121-32-10 record for Army. His teams won national championships in 1944 and 1945. But all that never would have happened if Blaik hadn’t insisted that West Point drop its requirement that all players meet strict height-to-weight limitations.

Pushing from good to great

May 23, 2011
Confidence and ambition are fused for John Brenkus, host of ESPN’s “Sport Science,” a cavalcade of wacky experiments that explore the physics of sports. While he became good at sports, Brenkus was never great, so he decided to do two other hard things:

Coach Brown wins old-school style

May 2, 2011
Larry Brown is one of the few guys who successfully coached both college and pro basketball: the Denver Nuggets, UCLA and the New York Knicks. For starters, he’s old-school: stubborn, passionate and tough on know-it-alls.

What’s your defining moment?

April 5, 2011
When Bill Rasmussen borrowed $9,000 on his credit card for a new venture in 1979, he didn’t realize he was making a decision that would define his career—and the future of sports broadcasting. ESPN aired for the first time because of that defining-moment decision by Rasmussen.

Match people’s skills to your system

March 22, 2011

Ken Anderson beat the odds to become one of the most prolific quarterbacks in National Football League history. Slow-footed quarterbacks with weak arms aren’t even supposed to make the NFL, much less lead the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl. How he did it:

Nuggets coach comes back strong

March 3, 2011
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl returns to the bench after battling throat and neck cancer and brings with him a few lessons in survival:

Risk-taking leads to big Patriot wins

January 5, 2011

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, has spent 16 years turning one of the sorriest NFL franchises into one of the most feared and admired. Along with head coach Bill Belichick, he and the Patriots have won three Super Bowls and more games in the past 10 years than any other NFL team in any decade. In his pursuit of the team and the stadium, Kraft revealed how gifted he is at risk-taking.

Celebrate your wins … and others’ losses

November 26, 2010

For Nick Buoniconti, the champagne flowed early this season when the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 10 and became the last remaining NFL team to lose for the first time this season. That meant the Miami Dolphins’ 17-0 record in the 1972 season would remain unchallenged for another season.