Years ago, offensive linemen were a commodity in the NFL. They were essentially interchangeable parts until the New York Giants drafted a player named Lawrence Taylor. LT’s rise, and the need of other teams to stop him, led the left tackle position to prominence, placing value on the players who protect the quarterback’s “blind side.” Soon thereafter, left tackle became the second-highest paid position in the NFL, below quarterback only.
Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, tells the story of how the rise of the left tackle collided with the life of a poor, but physically gifted kid named Michael Oher. Now the left tackle at Ole Miss and a potential NFL star, Oher was invisible even to his own family until he enrolled at Briarcrest Christian Academy and met Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.
The Blind Side is a far cry from Moneyball, which is not what I expected when I saw the author’s name and decided I wanted to read this book. That’s also not a bad thing. Lewis deals here with the story of a player and how he fit into the big picture, rather than discussing game strategy and economics.
Though it’s not revolutionary, The Blind Side is still a good read. The story is almost surreal, and Lewis writes very well while remaining accessible and entertaining. The story flows well, and it made for fairly quick reading. Lewis did mix up a few little details, but they were mostly inconsequential. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a football book with an intriguing meta-story, and I would especially recommend it if you’re in SEC country like I am.
For those who care, Nick Saban fans will be delighted at his portrayal, while Phil Fulmer fans (if any remain outside Knoxville) might not be so pleased. Ed Orgeron fans probably are not capable of reading this, so I won’t bother discussing him. (I jest. Please don’t send hate mail. I’m actually a Tennessee fan and I have no problem with Ole Miss. Really.)