The #1 New York Times Bestseller
"Lewis has such a gift for storytelling…he writes as lucidly for sports fans as for those who read him for other reasons." —Janet Maslin, New York Times
When we first meet him, Michael Oher is one of thirteen children by a mother addicted to crack; he does not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or how to read or write. He takes up football, and school, after a rich, white, Evangelical family plucks him from the streets. Then two great forces alter Oher: the family’s love and the evolution of professional football itself into a game where the quarterback must be protected at any cost. Our protagonist becomes the priceless package of size, speed, and agility necessary to guard the quarterback’s greatest vulnerability, his blind side.
As he did so memorably for baseball in Moneyball, Lewis takes a statistical X-ray of the hidden substructure of football, outlining the invisible doings of unsung players that determine the outcome more than the showy exploits of point scorers. In his sketch of the gridiron arms race, first came the modern, meticulously choreographed passing offense, then the ferocious defensive pass rusher whose bone-crunching quarterback sacks demolished the best-laid passing game, and finally the rise of the left tackle the offensive lineman tasked with protecting the quarterback from the pass rusher whose presence is felt only through the game-deciding absence of said sacks. A rare creature combining 300 pounds of bulk with "the body control of a ballerina," the anonymous left tackle, Lewis notes, is now often a team's highest-paid player. Lewis fleshes this out with the colorful saga of left tackle prodigy Michael Oher. An intermittently homeless Memphis ghetto kid taken in by a rich white family and a Christian high school, Oher's preternatural size and agility soon has every college coach in the country courting him obsequiously. Combining a tour de force of sports analysis with a piquant ethnography of the South's pigskin mania, Lewis probes the fascinating question of whether football is a matter of brute force or subtle intellect. Photos.
Excellent and thought provoking
Another amazing chronicling of complex phenomena by Lewis
Michael Lewis is one of my favorite writers because his stories illustrate complex intricacies of social phenomena with the skill of an accomplished writer. This book is one of them. I have recommended to friends that they read this and several of his other books before watching the movies that portray them. Even having watched the movies that his stories have turned into, going back to read the full stories in his words are rewarding. I look forward to the next new thing that Lewis will choose to write about.