Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Blind Side

I don't read a lot of sports books, but I just finished reading The Blind Side by Michael Lewis and I have to say that it was fantastic.

The Blind Side discusses the evolution of the pass rusher along with the evolution of the West Coast Offense, and how both of those two things contributed to the demand of a new type of left tackle on the offensive line. And the left tackle discussed in detail is Michael Oher, a poor black kid from Memphis who had no education, whose mom was a crackwhore, who didn't know his real name, his birthdate or his dad, but who, after being adopted by rich white parents and tutored in life skills, became a first round draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens.

Oher played for Ole Miss, and although I'm a die-hard LSU fan, I found myself routing for Oher. More importantly, I found myself routing for the kind of people who take someone like Michael Oher into their family, clothe him, feed him, tutor him, show him love and help guide him in ways that his parents were never able to.

The Blind Side is part football history lesson and part human interest story, and ultimately is greater than the sum of its parts. It shows how a small change in football has ramifications all the way back to high school football, and how the evolution of the game can make a poor, uneducated black kid into a first round draft pick.

It also made me wish that I was a 6'5", 305 lb black guy who can smash people's heads in with my oversized fists. Oh well, I'll just have to live vicariously through Oher by watching a few Ravens games this year.

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