Monday, September 20, 2010

So What's the Penalty? Excessive Blocking.

The Blind Side: Evolution of a GameThe Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For three months I sat on my library's wait list for Michael Lewis' The Blind Side. To say it was "worth the wait" does not sufficiently describe how I feel about this book.

It is one of the best sports-related books I have ever read, and I am quite dazed by Mr. Lewis. My first thought while reading this was that any football fan should read it. But now that I am done with the book, I think everyone should read it.

For football fans, Mr. Lewis did the incredible job of researching and telling readers about the "Evolution of a Game" (the book's tagline). His story takes you through the changes football went through during the 1980s, and the arrival of Lawrence Taylor, a linebacker for the New York Giants. Mr. Lewis ties his historical analysis to the personal story of Michael Oher.

For me, it was magic. I have always been a fan of football and the passing game. While watching the University of Hawaii as a child, I could never understand why they would ever run the ball. Maybe UH had a poor running game; I do not really remember. What I remember is Garrett Gabriel, the UH quarterback who led them to a win--a win after a 15-year drought--over then-arch-rival, BYU in 1989.

Garrett Gabriel could throw the ball, and he was a hero in Hawaii for beating BYU, so I grew up on the passing game. What a shock it was for me, 21 years after that win, to read that not only was the pass an illegal play until 1906, but a bias against the pass lasted through the 1960s.

Intermixed with all the football history is Michael Oher's amazing story. It was so amazing, that I will seek out a Baltimore Ravens game this season, just to see this man play in his second NFL season. It was so amazing, that I think anyone who has seen the movie, should read also read the book. Michael Oher, and his Tuohy family are the kind of people that give you hope for people and for this country. Times may be bad, and there maybe a lot of negativity in this world, but it all gets a little brighter when you read The Blind Side.

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