Synopses & Reviews
The adjectives associated with the University of Washingtons 2000 football season—mystical, magical, miraculous—changed when Ken Armstrong and Nick Perrys four-part exposé of the 2000 Huskies hit the newspaper stands: “explosive . . . chilling” (Sports Illustrated), “blistering” (Baltimore Sun), “shocking . . . appalling” (Tacoma News Tribune), “astounding” (ESPN), “jaw-dropping” (Orlando Sentinel). Now, in Scoreboard, Baby, 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.” Read additional praise.
For the last twenty-five years, the most dominant offensive strategy in college football has been the spread offense, which relies on empty backfields, lots of receivers and passing, and no huddles between plays. Where the spread offense started, why it took so long to take hold, and the evolution of its many variations are the much-debated mysteries that Bart Wright sets about solving in this book.
Football Revolution recovers a key, overlooked, part of the story. The book reveals how Jack Neumeier, a high school football coach in California in the 1970s, built an offensive strategy around a young player named John Elway, whose father was a coach at nearby California State University, Northridge. One of the elder Elways assistant coaches, Dennis Erickson, then borrowed Neumeiers innovations and built on them, bringing what we now know as the spread offense onto the national stage at the University of Miami in the 1980s. With Ericksons career as a lens, this book shows how the inspiration of a high school coach became the dominant offense in college football, prepping a whole generation of quarterbacks for the NFL and forever changing the way the game is played.
The first fifty years of Americaand#8217;s most popular spectator sport have been strangely neglected by historians claiming to tell the and#8220;complete storyand#8221; of pro football. Well, here are the early stories that and#8220;complete storyand#8221; has left out. What about the awful secret carried around by Sid Luckman, the Bearsand#8217; Hall of Fame quarterback whose father was a mobster and a murderer? Or Steve Hamas, who briefly played in the NFL then turned to boxing and beat Max Schmeling, conqueror of Joe Louis? Or the two one-armed players who suited up for NFL teams in 1945? Or Steelers owner Art Rooney postponing a game in 1938 because of injuries? These are just a few of the little-known facts Dan Daly unearths in recounting the untold history of pro football in its first half century.and#160;These decades were also full of ideas and experimentation, such as the invention of the modern T formation that revolutionized offense, unlimited player substitution, and soccer-style kicking, as well as the emergence of televised pro football as prime-time entertainment. Relying on obscure sources, original interviews, old game films and statistical databases, Dalyand#8217;s extensive research and engaging stories bring the NFLand#8217;s formative yearsand#8212;and pro footballand#8217;s folk rootsand#8212;to life.
About the Author
Ken Armstrong is a reporter for the Seattle Times,
as was Nick Perry from 2002 until 2011. Perry is now a correspondent for the Associated Press. Their investigative work on the 2000 Huskies won two of journalisms highest honors: the George Polk Award and the Michael Kelly Award, recognizing “the fearless pursuit and expression of truth.” In 2010 Armstrong and Perry 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.
Armstrong is a three-time winner of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and a four-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He previously worked at the Chicago Tribune, where he co-wrote six series on criminal-justice issues, including an investigation of the death penalty that helped prompt the states governor to suspend executions and eventually to empty Death Row. In 2009 he received the prestigious John Chancellor Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement.
Perry has won national journalism awards in both New Zealand, his homeland, and the United States, where he has specialized in covering higher education. He was named a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan for the 2010-11 academic year.