The Blind Side

Several months ago, Ernie the Attorney wrote about a book he had just finished: The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. I found Ernie’s initial description of the book interesting:

A few weeks ago I finished reading Michael Lewis’ The Blind Side, a book that starts quickly with a rapid-fire account of the 4.5 second play that ended Joe Theismann’s NFL career.  Theismann, you may or may not recall, was brutally smacked from behind by defensive end Lawrence Taylor.  Most people remember only the gruesome image of Theismann’s leg bone being snapped.   Football is a strange sport, Lewis observes, in that none of the players ever sees more than a narrow slice of action.  In football, as in other pursuits, what you can’t see can truly hurt you.   Few of us ever get a wide-angle view of circumstances, and only someone like Lewis can connect the dots to create a bunch of fascinating social observations.

Ernie went on to explain that the book also detailed “the improbable life of a 350 pound black teenager named Michael Oher.   His mom was a crack addict and he was homeless and illiterate, until his wayward path collided with that of a wealthy Memphis businessman named Sean Tuohy.”

I had previously read Lewis’s book Moneyball, which talks about sabermetrics and how the Oakland A’s were able to remain competitive with such a low salary. I really enjoyed Moneyball. Based upon what Ernie said, I figured that I would also enjoy The Blind Side.

The Blind SideAbout a week ago, I finally got a hold of The Blind Side and I read it. Yesterday. In less than 12 hours. Once I started, I did not want to put the book down. Lewis is extremely skilled with weaving together two seemingly unrelated stories: The story of the poor, illiterate, football player and the story of the emergence of the left tackle as a skilled position in the NFL.

Lewis not only weaves these stories together skillfully, he also takes football plays that I had seen on television many times before and make then interesting on the page when he described them. Despite the fact that I had actually seen the some of the plays he talks about and despite the fact that I knew how the plays turned out, I could still feel the tension on the page.

If you have even a passing interest in football, I highly recommend this book. I really enjoyed Moneyball. I thought that The Blind Side was twice as good.

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