Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Blind Side

Michael Lewis has written another fantastic book, this time about the evolution of the left tackle position in football...and, as he does, a whole lot more than that. The left tackle position has grown as the need to protect the quarterback from his "blind side" has. NFL defenses stack the most fearsome destroyers of quarterbacks against the left side, knowing that right handed quarterbacks looking downfield have a blind side. The defense is arranged with the understanding that hits will be unseen until it is too late, and the damage done will be particularly devastating (witness the career-ending hit the original LT put on Joe Theisman...if you saw it, you probably still wince, just thinking about it). I read Moneyball last year and learned a lot about baseball and how teams are run, and how a small market team like the Oakland A's can compete with the Yankees and Red Sox. More than just a sports story, The Blind Side tells what happens when people take an active interest in a young man, and afford him an environment where he can be successful and reach his potential.

The story follows Michael Oher, a young teenager with all of the physical tools to be one of the greatest left tackles professional football has ever seen. Only, he doesn't know it. The problem is that he lacks even the most rudimantary of social skills or education, owing to his existence on the streets of the Memphis ghetto. The Tuohy's, a wealthy Christian, white family take Michael in, eventually adopting him, and help him grow as a player, student, and most impressively, as a man. The book offers insight into the manic world of Southern Football, strategies of the game, and most amazingly, what happens when very different worlds collide...or, perhaps merge is a better word.
Read this book.

No comments: