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The Blind Side
Evolution of a Game
- By Michael Lewis
- Hardback (Paperback)
- Out of print. Try our second hand search facility.
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- Reviewed by 1 member with an average rating of out of 5 stars. Login or join us to post the first review!
- Published: 1st Oct 2006
- ISBN: 039306123X
- Pages: 288
- Size: 241mm x 166mm
From the Publisher:
By the author of the bestselling Moneyball: in football, as in life, the value we place on people changes with the rules of the games they play.
The young man at the center of this extraordinary and moving story will one day be among the most highly paid athletes in the National Football League. When we first meet him, he is one of thirteen children by a mother addicted to crack; he does not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or any of the things a child might learn in school--such as, say, how to read or write. Nor has he ever touched a football.
What changes? He takes up football, and school, after a rich, Evangelical, Republican family plucks him from the mean streets. Their love is the first great force that alters the world's perception of the boy, whom they adopt. The second force is the evolution of professional football itself into a game where the quarterback must be protected at any cost. Our protagonist turns out to be the priceless combination of size, speed, and agility necessary to guard the quarterback's greatest vulnerability: his blind side.
Member Reviews and Ratings
The position of left offensive tackle doesn't automatically suggest itself as prime subject material for a book on the development of American football strategy. But as Michael Lewis proved in his dissection of baseball statistics, Moneyball, seemingly obscure subject matter is no bar to a fascinating read.
The havoc wreaked by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor on the blind side of opposing quarterbacks in the early 1980s caused such consternation in NFL locker rooms that a specific technique was needed just to combat him. The architect of this new strategy was Bill Walsh. Lewis examines how first with the Bengals and more famously with the 49ers how Walsh developed an offensive gameplan which aimed to eliminate as much unnecessary risk as possible. By using short, sharp passes Walsh's quarterbacks could make more completions, throw fewer interceptions and most importantly negate the potential chaos caused by the likes of LT. The results speak for themselves. 5 Superbowls and 2 Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Joe Montana and Steve Young. Former Walsh assistants such as Mike Shanahan and Mike Holmgren have taken his West Coast Offense to further greatness. It's the closest thing the NFL has seen to Billy Beane's Moneyball system and crucial to the strategy is the player at left tackle, the one charged with protecting the quarterback's blind side. Which brings us to the 2nd part of the book, the amazing story of Michael Oher, a poor black student trying to make his way in a very white, very rich and very Christian school.
Taken in by the family of good old boy made good Sean Touhy, Lewis examines the difficulties faced by Oher in his new lily white environment. With his gargantuan size and amazing speed opportunity eventually comes on the sports field and Oher soon has college scouts knocking on the Tuohy's door desperate for him to join their programme. Needless to say he fits the bill for the archetypal left tackle but the lengths that Colleges go to and the pressures put on impressionable boys seem amazing to observers this side of the pond. At times the story seems almost too good to be true but it does give a real insight into the obsessional nature of high school and college football in the American South.
Lewis hit a home run with Moneyball(or perhaps that should read he hit for a high On Base Percentage). He hasn't quite reached those heights with The Blind Side but it's a highly entertaining and insightful book all the same.
Posted on 16th Mar 2007 at 11:20:38 GMT.
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