Scoreboard Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity, with Ken Armstrong
The University of Washington’s march to the 2001 Rose Bowl answered one of sport’s most enduring questions: If winning is everything, what are we left with? Scoreboard, Baby exposes the rot beneath a celebrated season -- and the ruins left behind, showing how a community’s blind embrace of a football team compromised judges, prosecutors, police agencies, a proud university and the media.
Armstrong and Perry go behind the scenes of the Huskies’ Cinderella story to reveal a timeless morality tale about the price of obsession, the creep of fanaticism, and the ways in which a community can lose even when its team wins. The authors unearth the true story from firsthand interviews and thousands of pages of documents: the forensic report on a bloody fingerprint; the notes of a detective investigating allegations of rape; confidential memoranda of prosecutors; and the criminal records of the dozen-plus players arrested that year with scant mention in the newspapers and minimal consequences in the courts. The statement of a judge, sentencing one player to thirty days in jail, says it all: “to be served after football season.”
Ken Armstrong is an investigative reporter at the Seattle Times, where he has written about improperly sealed court records, the MRSA pathogen’s unchecked rise, and a community’s complicity in protecting wayward athletes, among other subjects. He previously worked at the Chicago Tribune, where he co-wrote six series on criminal-justice issues. In 2009 Armstrong received the John Chancellor Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and the McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton. He has won many of journalism’s top awards, including the George Polk, Worth Bingham and Michael Kelly. He is a three-time winner of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and a four-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, in the categories of public service, investigative reporting, national reporting and explanatory reporting. In 2010 he shared in the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting, which was awarded to the staff of the Seattle Times for its coverage of the shooting deaths of four police officers. Before Chicago and Seattle, Armstrong worked at newspapers in Colorado, Idaho, California, New York, Alaska and Virginia.