Monday, November 06, 2006

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

I've read a couple books by Michael Lewis (The New New Thing and Moneyball) and they were both really interesting. I picked up his latest book The Blind Side recently and it is one that I will recommend to anyone (football fan or not). The Blind Side tells the story of Michael Oher, a boy in Memphis who is adopted by a wealthy white family. Michael is no ordinary kid. He turns into a 300 lb high school football player with the agility of a ballerina. His grade school aptitude tests show him scoring in the lowest percentile of skill sets for all things except one: "Protective Instinct." Naturally, he becomes the best left tackle in the country within one year of being discovered. Michael takes his high school team to a state championship and goes on to be recruited by the top college teams in the country...

...that's as far as I have gotten. Sorry. So I have no idea if this kid become a college football star, a NFL rookie of the year, or fades into oblivion. It is a true story and you better not ruin the ending for me.

I never thought I would be interested in a football book. However, this book combines a unique human interest story about different worlds colliding, with some incredible sports writing. The writing is smooth and Lewis builds suspense and plot like a great fiction writer. He introduces each character in Michael's life and paints them really well. At the same time, he blends in great football anecdotes and teaches you a little bit about the game. So far, this is a great book all around. Highly recommended.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I recommend "Brian Piccolo: A Short Season". Brian Piccolo was a backup running back with the Chicago Bears that battled and lost to cancer. The book is only sort of about football. It is mostly about a remarkable young man and his friends. The book was written by a close friend and was the basis of the movie "Brian's Song". I read this book a long time ago (you know how ancient I am) but I would bet it still holds up. Part of its fascination for me, I must admit, is th inside look at the Chicago Bears.

rc said...

My cousins both played football at Florida State. Recruited by every major college in the country, they chose football over education (turned down full scholarships to Stanford, Duke, even Ivy League schools). Always planned on the NFL, but injuries caused both of them to miss thier window. There was never a plan B. 15 years later they still have not found out what life is without football, and will degrees they only earned so they could make every practice, meeting, weight training session, they were ill prepared for life. Watching what they went through was the best education anyone could have gotten when choosing college. I hope this kid turns out for the better, regardless of what he does.

SINEDDIE said...

I do not like the passing interference rule.

wilablog said...

Luke: I will look for the Piccolo book the next time I am in the book store - thanks for the recommendation.

RC: This story is still in the making...we will all have to wait to see if M.O. has a plan B (or if he needs one).

sineddie: As usual, a unique perspective on the topic ;-)