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The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game

  1. 5 out of 5

    jv poore

    The Blind Side by Michael Lewis was not one of the Biographies on my massive To-Read list. I did not see the movie and I am probably not a true sports fan. Nonetheless, when Boy brought the book home for his Sports Literature class, I had to read it first. He told me it was about football. It is not about football. Not exactly, and not entirely. I will admit to being pleasantly surprised by how incredibly interesting the football parts were. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Tom Lemming and it The Blind Side by Michael Lewis was not one of the Biographies on my massive To-Read list. I did not see the movie and I am probably not a true sports fan. Nonetheless, when Boy brought the book home for his Sports Literature class, I had to read it first. He told me it was about football. It is not about football. Not exactly, and not entirely. I will admit to being pleasantly surprised by how incredibly interesting the football parts were. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Tom Lemming and it was nifty to understand roles and responsibilities for different player positions. The story of Michael Oher and the Touhy family is uplifting and inspiring. An example of good people, simply doing what they feel is the right thing. A demonstration of the fierce power invoked when huge hearts and open minds collide. Michael has a million reasons to be angry, bitter and seriously cynical. He is none of those things. Instead, he’s the go-with-the-flow guy. Crashing on the right floor, at the right time led to Michael attending the elite Briarcrest. A world away from the public schools he had barely bothered with. To say that Michael stood out would be a gross understatement. He quickly caught the eye of Sean Touhy. Touhy came from very little. He worked hard and became a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court at Ole Miss. He felt a connection to the quiet newcomer. Sean was not alone. Leigh Ann, and their two children, quickly developed the same kinship. The Touhys welcomed Michael Oher into their family. The four rallied around him to ensure a successful senior year of high-school and to help him transition into college. I am so happy that I read this. I will absolutely be adding it to a few of my favorite high-school classroom libraries.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    FOO-BAH! FOO-BAH! 24-7, 365 Days a Year! Seriously, doesn't it seem like football is happening year 'round these days? The NFL with the help of ESPN has done a hell of a job making themselves ubiquitous. Lucky for me, I love the game. Sucks for those who don't, though... The Blind Side is a nice, concise slice of today's true American Pastime, and it's the sort of feel-good story that will appeal to a broad audience (and by broad I don't necessarily mean dames!) *twiddles cigar and jiggles eyebrow FOO-BAH! FOO-BAH! 24-7, 365 Days a Year! Seriously, doesn't it seem like football is happening year 'round these days? The NFL with the help of ESPN has done a hell of a job making themselves ubiquitous. Lucky for me, I love the game. Sucks for those who don't, though... The Blind Side is a nice, concise slice of today's true American Pastime, and it's the sort of feel-good story that will appeal to a broad audience (and by broad I don't necessarily mean dames!) *twiddles cigar and jiggles eyebrows ala Groucho Marx*. This is essentially the story of Michael Oher, current NFL offensive lineman, former skid row forgotten child of delinquent parents. This is also the story of privileged white Christians plucking a boy from the ghetto and raising him as their own, giving him an opportunity he would've otherwise never had. Much of author Michael Lewis' book tells Oher's heart-warming tale. When not evoking tearjerking scenes, he occasionally questions the morality of the sport in question as well as the people that thrust this naturally athletic kid into it. Analysis of the game's (after all, Evolution of the Game is its subtitle) progression and how it's changed the very shape of the players who play it runs through out and provides a nice base from which to play off the Oher example. Football enthusiasts, historians and strategists may glean some interesting insights from this well-written, flowing story with its palatably presented data tucked in as thought-nuggets through out. Very nice read. I can see why they made a movie out of it, which I ought to get around to watching someday.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jess☺️

    The Blind Side:The Evolution Of A Game by Michael Lewis is a book split into two Stories one is about the game (NFL) and has much history of the game which is interesting also you don't loose sight of the other part of the story either it balances out really well. The other part of the story is about the up and coming life of Michael Oher from his terrible childhood to when he makes it to the NFL and becomes one of highest paid athletes, there are many up and downs in this young man's life and al The Blind Side:The Evolution Of A Game by Michael Lewis is a book split into two Stories one is about the game (NFL) and has much history of the game which is interesting also you don't loose sight of the other part of the story either it balances out really well. The other part of the story is about the up and coming life of Michael Oher from his terrible childhood to when he makes it to the NFL and becomes one of highest paid athletes, there are many up and downs in this young man's life and all it took was one family who did that one special thing of taking him and making him part of their family and not giving a damn what people say. You don't need to know much about the game (because you'll know the important stuff by the end 😉) but you can certainly enjoy this to read I definitely recommend this 📖

  4. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    On the merits of the story alone, I enjoyed this book. Lewis is a very good writer, and he is able to tell a compelling story and educate the less knowledgeable without coming off as condescending, which is more difficult than it sounds. The story of Michael Oher is compelling (and ongoing), and it's hard not to root for him. That said, I have my suspicions about the altruism at the heart of the story. There are too many questionable motivations floating about, although, to Lewis's credit, he doe On the merits of the story alone, I enjoyed this book. Lewis is a very good writer, and he is able to tell a compelling story and educate the less knowledgeable without coming off as condescending, which is more difficult than it sounds. The story of Michael Oher is compelling (and ongoing), and it's hard not to root for him. That said, I have my suspicions about the altruism at the heart of the story. There are too many questionable motivations floating about, although, to Lewis's credit, he does acknowledge them. As much as Lewis tries to drive the point home that the Tuohy family are just generous, kind people, I do find the story of Michael's recruitment and subsequent (spoiler alert) commitment to Ole Miss very suspect. Consider the facts: 1)Ole Miss is far from a college football powerhouse, even (especially?) playing in the super competitive SEC; 2)Oher was recruited by literally every major college program in the country, many of which could have afforded Oher greater opportunities for national exposure and better quality education; 3)Ole Miss very sketchily hired Michael's high school football coach to their staff immediately before or after (I can't remember the exact timeline) Michael committed to Ole Miss; 4)The Tuohys are well known alumni and benefactors to Ole Miss; 5)Michael Lewis is an old friend of Sean Tuohy. Taken individually, these factors can be dismissed as coincidence. Together, it adds up to something fishy. I simply don't believe the Tuohy's motives were pure in adopting Michael, and I don't like the way that Lewis casually brushes off the idea that this feel good story could have arose from more sinister origins. However, that said, he doesn't take the Michael Moore route and does, at the very least, address these issues, and it is a heck of a story. Maybe it's not the made for Hollywood story Lewis presents it as, but, then again, neither are most made for Hollywood stories.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mahlon

    The Blind Side features two story lines, one traces the evolution of offensive football since the early 1980's specifically the way it reacted to the way Hall of Fame revolutionized the Outside Linebacker position was played. Thanks to Taylor's prowess at rushing the Quarterback, the Left Tackle(who protects the QB's blind side) quickly became one of the most important, and highest-paid positions on the football field. The second storyline focuses on Michael Oher, who has all the psyical gifts th The Blind Side features two story lines, one traces the evolution of offensive football since the early 1980's specifically the way it reacted to the way Hall of Fame revolutionized the Outside Linebacker position was played. Thanks to Taylor's prowess at rushing the Quarterback, the Left Tackle(who protects the QB's blind side) quickly became one of the most important, and highest-paid positions on the football field. The second storyline focuses on Michael Oher, who has all the psyical gifts that NFL scouts look for in the prototypical Left Tackle, the problem: can Michael make the grades necessary to play college football? We follow Michael on his journey from impoverished upbringing, to his enrollement at an elite christian school, where he is taken in by a white family, to his eventual enrollment at Ole Miss. Along the way, we are given a glimpse into the often predatory recruiting process that top prospects must negotiate. Michael is projected to be a first round pick in April's NFL draft. There have only been a handful of great books on Football published in the past 20 years, and this is one of them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I read this after seeing the movie version and was amazed that many of the precious details I assumed had been invented by Hollywood writers were real and actually happened. The book is mostly about Michael Oher, a homeless black teenager who was adopted by a white family in Memphis who then went on to be a successful football player. There are also a few dense chapters devoted to recent changes in professional football and how the player who guards the blind side of a quarterback now has greate I read this after seeing the movie version and was amazed that many of the precious details I assumed had been invented by Hollywood writers were real and actually happened. The book is mostly about Michael Oher, a homeless black teenager who was adopted by a white family in Memphis who then went on to be a successful football player. There are also a few dense chapters devoted to recent changes in professional football and how the player who guards the blind side of a quarterback now has greater value in the NFL. (Not being a football fan, I skimmed those sections.) But the chapters about Oher's rise and turnaround were fascinating and thoughtful. Michael Lewis is a gifted reporter and I plan to read more of his books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Hoop Dreams detailed the machine built around taking poor black athletes from the inner city and sticking them into primarily white school systems that only cared about those athletes to the extent that they would help their sports teams win. The Blind Side concerns itself with a similar story, except Michael Lewis tends to pause breathlessly and exclaim isn't this great? He admits that the father, Sean, "had been born with a talent for seeing the court, taking in every angle and every other pla Hoop Dreams detailed the machine built around taking poor black athletes from the inner city and sticking them into primarily white school systems that only cared about those athletes to the extent that they would help their sports teams win. The Blind Side concerns itself with a similar story, except Michael Lewis tends to pause breathlessly and exclaim isn't this great? He admits that the father, Sean, "had been born with a talent for seeing the court, taking in every angle and every other player, and then attacking in the most efficient way possible. The talent translated beautifully from basketball into life." But Lewis never really weighs the possibility that maybe this chronic manipulater had some dubious intentions when, on essentially a whim, he ends up adopting a tremendous football talent, Michael, a year before Michael decides where he wants to play his college ball. When an NCAA investigator feels that this adoption (and the tens of thousands of dollars thrown towards Michael) might be some attempt to circumvent the rules and buy his favor, Lewis can't help but vilify her. "[The NCAA] didn't care how things were, only how they could be made to seem. A poor black football star inside the home of this rich white booster could be made to seem scandalous, and so here they were, bothering Michael. The lady said she was just trying to establish the facts of the case, but the facts didn't descibe the case... They had violated the letter of every NCAA rule ever written. They'd given Michael more than food, clothing, and shelter. They'd given him a life." And, desipte this ascribed nobility of Sean, his family, and the support system of tutors willing to get him passing grades by any means at hand, I never found myself buying into it fully. Yes, I find myself rooting for Michael Oher to make it in the NFL, but mainly because I feel that if he doesn't, the life that these people have given him will seep away, and he'll be back on the streets from which he was rescued. I also was annoyed by which the degree Lewis writes from a perspective of "poor black" athletes and "rich white" heroes. He can't help himself from throwing these modifiers on any person where they might apply. But when talking of about a black investment banker, he isn't written as "a rich black banker", instead he is merely described as being from Washington, D.C. Michael is meant to stand in for so much of what is happening in this country in terms of race and economics, and, while large though he may be, he isn't big enough to tell this story unless Lewis cuts off these annoying details and nuances. In the end, it rings with the empty ease of a cheer before a football game: "Whitey, go adopt a black kid that can run 4.3 40, on three!"

  8. 5 out of 5

    ☠Kayla☠

    Dnf at 104. Now, let me explain. So I absolutely loved the movie The Blind Side, I've seen it many many times and that's saying something because I hate sports. With that being said, I hate football, and that is why this book didn't do it for me. The book seemed to read more like a documentary in my opinion and I rather watch a documentary then read one. It also had way more football talk in it then the movie and I felt like I was learning more about the sport itself then Michael Oher's life. In Dnf at 104. Now, let me explain. So I absolutely loved the movie The Blind Side, I've seen it many many times and that's saying something because I hate sports. With that being said, I hate football, and that is why this book didn't do it for me. The book seemed to read more like a documentary in my opinion and I rather watch a documentary then read one. It also had way more football talk in it then the movie and I felt like I was learning more about the sport itself then Michael Oher's life. In all honesty I actually did enjoy this book at first, I could get past all the information about football that bored me and I actually enjoyed learning more about Michaels life in the beginning. But the more I read, the more I caught myself getting really bored and wondering "should I just dnf this" and the more I wondered the more I realized that yes, I should. I really don't want to throw myself into a reading slump so the best thing for me is to put this book back on my shelf and possibly pick it up at a later time. If I'm being honest with myself though I honestly don't think I'll ever pick it up again. I'm not saying it was bad! This would be a perfect read for someone who loves football, or is trying to learn more about the sport. I on the other hand am not really interested in learning about football so much as I was learning about Michael Oher's life and I feel the movie gave me that and also kept me entertained better then the book did.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Elzburg)

    I think The Blind Side is the kind of book that anyone can read--football fans and foes alike. "Football haters too?!" Yes, dependent on the depth of your hostility. I literally did not care one bit for football prior to reading this book, and was very okay with keeping things that way. That was... Until recently. My boyfriend ex-boyfriend is hopelessly obsessed with football, and keeps trying to get me into it, with little success. A big reason I haven't been able to extract any semblance of ent I think The Blind Side is the kind of book that anyone can read--football fans and foes alike. "Football haters too?!" Yes, dependent on the depth of your hostility. I literally did not care one bit for football prior to reading this book, and was very okay with keeping things that way. That was... Until recently. My boyfriend ex-boyfriend is hopelessly obsessed with football, and keeps trying to get me into it, with little success. A big reason I haven't been able to extract any semblance of entertainment out of this sport is definitely due to me not understanding the rules nor what-the-heck is ever going on. So I bought this book on his recommendation and started reading it in hopes of coming out with a better understanding of the game. And by golly... Would you believe it? It actually worked. The Blind Side is in large part a biography of offensive lineman Michael Oher, and it uses his story as an example of the effects a changing game can have on an individual. In this book you get a heartwarming story in the forefront, while also learning about the intricacies of the football offensive line. This meant that the next time I tried watching football I had something specific I wanted to observe (seeing the things I had read about actually in action), which drew me in and allowed me to finally start following the game. If you like football, there's a good chance you'll like this. If you don't, there's still a good chance you'll find enjoyment in reading about the very interesting life of Michael Oher, and maybe even come out with a better appreciation of football. Please give this review a "Like" if you've made it this far, and follow me if you want more!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Lewis writes two stories here. One is interesting. The other is mildly intriguing and probably not as a big a story as it seems. When telling the story of Michael Oher, a poor black kid from Memphis adopted by a loaded white family and the journey he takes from uncommunicative, unschooled, untrusting child to a succesful lineman starring at Ole Miss it's a good story. When writing about the emergence of the left tackle position in the NFL it was hard not to skip passages. Left tackle is an key posi Lewis writes two stories here. One is interesting. The other is mildly intriguing and probably not as a big a story as it seems. When telling the story of Michael Oher, a poor black kid from Memphis adopted by a loaded white family and the journey he takes from uncommunicative, unschooled, untrusting child to a succesful lineman starring at Ole Miss it's a good story. When writing about the emergence of the left tackle position in the NFL it was hard not to skip passages. Left tackle is an key position and the excerpts from players and coaches is interesting. Reading about the gruesome ways Lawrence Taylor destroyed people is great. But it's tedious and in the end it's hard to argue it's important. There's no real comparison to other ways the game has evolved. The Michael story left me uncomfortable. As great a story as his is (and it's still going - when his NFL draft approaches, Lewis-hype will ensure you know he's available), significant ethical questions are raised by the conduct of his adoptive family. Lewis correctly raises the questions, though he had little choice after the NCAA launched an investigation into the subject. But he never attempts to answer them. And his portrayal of the Tuohy family never wavers from supportive. Lewis never tackles their involvement, preferring to leave the questioning to others, and in doing so he is doing the story a disfavour.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    This book has quite a few different stories going on: 1) the importance of and rise of the offensive lineman 2) the story of Michael Oher, 3)LT (as in Lawrence Taylor of the NY Giants)and Bill Walsh (football coach, 49er's) these are "supporting stories" amongst others I heard of the movie and I like football books, so I thought I would enjoy this story about Michael Oher (and I did). I assumed it was just a story about Michael Oher, which it wasn't. I read Lewis's book Moneyball awhile back and This book has quite a few different stories going on: 1) the importance of and rise of the offensive lineman 2) the story of Michael Oher, 3)LT (as in Lawrence Taylor of the NY Giants)and Bill Walsh (football coach, 49er's) these are "supporting stories" amongst others I heard of the movie and I like football books, so I thought I would enjoy this story about Michael Oher (and I did). I assumed it was just a story about Michael Oher, which it wasn't. I read Lewis's book Moneyball awhile back and not only did I enjoy it, I winded up buying a few other books he had suggested etc.. and that book has really stayed with me. Ok, so if you want to read this book- just know that it is not just an inspirational story about a poor kid who makes it to the NFl, it is also a very matter of fact book about the evolution of certain postions in football (mostly the left tackle, who protects the blindside of the QB) and also about some of the changes in the game of football.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laur (hiatus)

    Uplifting and inspiring. Enjoyed the book, and loved the movie. Hooray, for those who have the courage to fight prejudice.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Coleen

    9/25/09 - As a book club read, this was different. And as football is not my favorite sport (I don't dislike it, but for me it ranks below baseball & basketball), I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, but I went in with an open mind. It basically alternates between chapters about football player Michael Oher's "history" & the emerging importance of the position of left tackle in the NFL and in college football. Overall, a very educational story for me. For someone who doesn't necessarily con 9/25/09 - As a book club read, this was different. And as football is not my favorite sport (I don't dislike it, but for me it ranks below baseball & basketball), I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, but I went in with an open mind. It basically alternates between chapters about football player Michael Oher's "history" & the emerging importance of the position of left tackle in the NFL and in college football. Overall, a very educational story for me. For someone who doesn't necessarily consider themselves a true football fan, some of the football history may seem a little dry. I was okay with it, but tended to start skimming the further I got into the book. The chapters specifically about Michael Oher were more engaging, although I feel myself left with a sour taste in my mouth as to the role the Tuohy family played in developing this young man's sports career. I have mixed feelings about that. If not for the financial & other numerous supports that the family provided him, he'd still be just another black kid on the street, struggling to survive. Hence, his is an inspiring story and the Tuohy's should probably be commended for their unfaltering support of Oher. But it reaffirms to me that in many cases, money makes the world go 'round, and in many instances, it was the Tuohy money that allowed all of this to happen. It makes one wonder about all of the other potential "stars" out there (athletes & other), who are unable to realize their potential because they're not fortunate to "fall into" the life-altering situation that Oher did.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jose Tagle

    The Blind Side is a book about a homeless teenager who gets adopted by a married couple who sees him on the side of the road and gives him a ride and a place to stay. While he is with them he grows fond of them he starts to attend a fancy mainly white Americans go there he only has a couple pairs of clothes. He starts playing football but he does not have the best grades in the world, his major is protection. His adopted parents use that to an advantage and he become’s really good at the sport The Blind Side is a book about a homeless teenager who gets adopted by a married couple who sees him on the side of the road and gives him a ride and a place to stay. While he is with them he grows fond of them he starts to attend a fancy mainly white Americans go there he only has a couple pairs of clothes. He starts playing football but he does not have the best grades in the world, his major is protection. His adopted parents use that to an advantage and he become’s really good at the sport . The family loves him and he loves them. He is in a place where everyone loves him Warning: plot spoilers and discussion follow below. The protagonists are the people who adopt him are pretty much his whole community. The only antagonists are the streets he is trying to get away from. By the streets I mean the town where he used to live. Main conflict He lived with a mom who didn’t even know who he was he pretty much didn’t have an actuall family he had to fend for himself. The main conflict is trying to get his grades up so he can attend a college. One of his parents wants him to go to the university of Tennesse , the other wants him to go to the university of ole miss. But that’s not the major conflict in the story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sherese

    Mixed feelings about this one. I'm huge NFL fan and Ravens are one of my favorite teams (mostly because of Ray Lewis) but I didn't know the Michael Oher story until the movie was released. I found the Left Tackle/NFL history of the book very interesting. But I can totally see why Michael himself had problems with how he was portrayed in the book. This is not just a poor black teenager being taken in by rich white upper class christian family stereotypical rags to riches taking the black child ou Mixed feelings about this one. I'm huge NFL fan and Ravens are one of my favorite teams (mostly because of Ray Lewis) but I didn't know the Michael Oher story until the movie was released. I found the Left Tackle/NFL history of the book very interesting. But I can totally see why Michael himself had problems with how he was portrayed in the book. This is not just a poor black teenager being taken in by rich white upper class christian family stereotypical rags to riches taking the black child out of the ghetto story that hollywood loves. It's like reading the "Jungle Book" or "Tarzan" , Michael was raised by pack of wolves for 15/16 years then brought into civilization or even an alien from outer space coming to live on Earth learning the ways of humans at least according to Michael Lewis depiction of Mr. Oher in this book. I have no idea if this is an exaggeration or actual truth either way I find it more than a little disturbing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I loved this book! Love, love, loved it. Interest in football? Zero. Interest in the surge of importance of a single football position I maybe could point out on the field, but probably not? Nope. Interest in the motives and actions of a white Christian Republican uber-rich Memphis family? Not even. Interest in this book which contains all of the above? Incredible. I couldn't put it down. That is the mark of a very good non-fiction writer. Do you like football? Read this book. Do you not like fo I loved this book! Love, love, loved it. Interest in football? Zero. Interest in the surge of importance of a single football position I maybe could point out on the field, but probably not? Nope. Interest in the motives and actions of a white Christian Republican uber-rich Memphis family? Not even. Interest in this book which contains all of the above? Incredible. I couldn't put it down. That is the mark of a very good non-fiction writer. Do you like football? Read this book. Do you not like football? Read this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    When I was an young adolescent, I was a cheerleader. (This is difficult to admit publicly, but there it is). At the football games, when I faced the audience and performed, I felt on top of the world. When I turned around and was forced to watch the game, I was bored out of my mind. Once, as we girls were cheering "O-F-F-E-N-S-E: Offense, Offense, Go Team!" a dad of one of the players threw an empty soda can at us and shouted, "You idiots! We're on DEFENSE!" I remember looking around at the other When I was an young adolescent, I was a cheerleader. (This is difficult to admit publicly, but there it is). At the football games, when I faced the audience and performed, I felt on top of the world. When I turned around and was forced to watch the game, I was bored out of my mind. Once, as we girls were cheering "O-F-F-E-N-S-E: Offense, Offense, Go Team!" a dad of one of the players threw an empty soda can at us and shouted, "You idiots! We're on DEFENSE!" I remember looking around at the other girls, knowing that just about every last one of them was a straight A student. . . and thinking: you're the idiot. We're just bored. Despite being a cheerleader for 3 years, having a football obsessed father and then marrying a football obsessed man, I'm still totally and completely bored by the game. If I'm obligated to watch football, live or televised, I hold a book off to the side, so I may politely ignore everything else that's happening. (Knowing this about me, you can now know just how much you can trust my recommendation here). This is a book about football, and not just a little. But, it's about football in the way that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is about cellular biology. It's a book about people, with a big, juicy human interest component that pulls you in and tackles you (Score!). It's a damn good story, which is obviously why someone else read it and said, "Hey, let's make a movie out of this!" I almost gave this five stars. I know. It's so weird.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    After seeing the movie I was curious about the book and though I'm not a big football fan decided to give it a read. The story is well written and Michael Oher's story is compelling. I'd been curious about the Racism vs. Ole Miss angle as it was not emphasized in the film and knowing what I did of Ole Miss's history I was curious. This was covered very well in the book. I was a bit daunted by depth of the coverage of the evolution of football in the book but I can't say I wasn't warned... The ti After seeing the movie I was curious about the book and though I'm not a big football fan decided to give it a read. The story is well written and Michael Oher's story is compelling. I'd been curious about the Racism vs. Ole Miss angle as it was not emphasized in the film and knowing what I did of Ole Miss's history I was curious. This was covered very well in the book. I was a bit daunted by depth of the coverage of the evolution of football in the book but I can't say I wasn't warned... The title indicated as much. Mostly the explanations of football strategy were very good and I followed most of it though I'm in no way a fan of the game. There were a few sections (particularly when the footnotes got to be close to half a page) when the football details became too much for me but I'm sure that dyed in the wool fans loved it. Even the sections on Lawrence Taylor and and Steve Wallace, and John Ayers were eminently readable, even for a non-fan. If you're a sports fan or if you've got one on your gift list, this may well be a great buy. If you'd rather not learn a lot about football but are still curious about the Michael Oher story, by all means, check out the movie.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I loved this book...well most of it anyway. Michael Oher's story was touching and I loved that specific part in this book. He changed his stars and put them in line. It was very inspirational. This started as a solid and clear 5 stars. Michael Lewis wrote this story so well. But then he got all technical about football, coaches, players, and plays. Which, to be honest, really isn't my thing. I like football just a tad less than baseball, and I really don't like baseball. Football, to me, just see I loved this book...well most of it anyway. Michael Oher's story was touching and I loved that specific part in this book. He changed his stars and put them in line. It was very inspirational. This started as a solid and clear 5 stars. Michael Lewis wrote this story so well. But then he got all technical about football, coaches, players, and plays. Which, to be honest, really isn't my thing. I like football just a tad less than baseball, and I really don't like baseball. Football, to me, just seems to be a very long game of fat-man tag. So that is the reason it gets 4 stars. I loved Michael Oher's story though. I read somewhere that he wasn't completely happy with the way he was portrayed in this book. But I think the author did a great job with the details that were included in this. So whether or not the author got creative with that...I don't know. But the story he told here was beautiful. Michael Oher has now acutally come out with his own autobiography/memoir so the next time I have to read a sports book, I think I will choose that one, just to see his side of the story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ronan Drew

    Michael Lewis does it again, this time with football. This is the story of a black kid from the country's third poorest zip code in Memphis who was adopted by a wealthy white family (they own their own jet) and with lots of support from the father of a son and from coaches and teachers and tutors played football at Old Miss and made it to the NFL and multi-million dollar contracts. Woven into the story of Michael Oher is the development of the importance of the left tackle in professional footbal Michael Lewis does it again, this time with football. This is the story of a black kid from the country's third poorest zip code in Memphis who was adopted by a wealthy white family (they own their own jet) and with lots of support from the father of a son and from coaches and teachers and tutors played football at Old Miss and made it to the NFL and multi-million dollar contracts. Woven into the story of Michael Oher is the development of the importance of the left tackle in professional football. It's his job to block the guy whose job it is to approach the quarterback from his blind side and sack him. Even for someone like me, a non-fan of football, Lewis makes the details of who played what position on what team when and against whom interesting and entertaining. And the story of Michael Oher, adopted by what would seem like the last family in the world to love and care for someone like him, is a delight. In fact, so delightful is it they made a movie, starring Sandra Bullock as the steel magnolia who is the mother of the Tuohy family of East Memphis.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    The Blindside took me by surprise. I was expecting a book documenting the life of Michael Oher, but instead I got a 300 page description of how football has changed-- with Oher's experience to enhance it. Lewis uses the facts of Oher's life parallel with notable changes in the National Football League (NFL). Though these events did not occur simultaneously, Lewis connects them as if they were meant to go hand in hand. And in some ways, maybe they were. For anybody who has seen the movie portrayal The Blindside took me by surprise. I was expecting a book documenting the life of Michael Oher, but instead I got a 300 page description of how football has changed-- with Oher's experience to enhance it. Lewis uses the facts of Oher's life parallel with notable changes in the National Football League (NFL). Though these events did not occur simultaneously, Lewis connects them as if they were meant to go hand in hand. And in some ways, maybe they were. For anybody who has seen the movie portrayal of the book and has an interest in football, I would deem this book a "must read". I got much more out of it than I did from the movie. You get a better sense of who these people really were. But, I would also say if you're not too interested in the dynamics of the game this book is likely going to prove boring and a disappointment.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    I am a big Michael Lewis fan, but Blind Side really missed the mark. This was a chance to explore race, socioeconomics, education, and college and professional sports. Instead, it becomes a story of how wonderful a white family is for taking in a poor, black kid who is then groomed to play football for the NFL. There are so many shades of gray in this true story, but Lewis never really "goes there" and it becomes clear why in the acknowledgments - he is childhood friends with the rich white man I am a big Michael Lewis fan, but Blind Side really missed the mark. This was a chance to explore race, socioeconomics, education, and college and professional sports. Instead, it becomes a story of how wonderful a white family is for taking in a poor, black kid who is then groomed to play football for the NFL. There are so many shades of gray in this true story, but Lewis never really "goes there" and it becomes clear why in the acknowledgments - he is childhood friends with the rich white man in question. The story itself raises some very interesting questions, but the author is never the one to ask them. Their absence really niggles at the back of your mind as you read. Skip it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    You’ve seen the movie, now read the book. Michael Lewis truly has a knack for taking an ordinary subject that’s been endlessly profiled, such as the rags to riches story of a big black football player from the south, and peeling away unseen layers to reveal surprising depths and nuance. The opening, which solemnly recounts Joe Theismann’s gruesome injury at the hands of Lawrence Taylor, is a perfect introduction to “The Blind Side” as a football term, but also lays the groundwork for exploring t You’ve seen the movie, now read the book. Michael Lewis truly has a knack for taking an ordinary subject that’s been endlessly profiled, such as the rags to riches story of a big black football player from the south, and peeling away unseen layers to reveal surprising depths and nuance. The opening, which solemnly recounts Joe Theismann’s gruesome injury at the hands of Lawrence Taylor, is a perfect introduction to “The Blind Side” as a football term, but also lays the groundwork for exploring the enigmatic Michael Oher, who is rescued from poverty in the worst part of Memphis and given the chance to succeed at football and life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Perret

    A little light on the human side of the story and heavy on the football- which I found a bit difficult to follow! It was still a powerful story, but I definitely preferred the movie. In other news, this is my 85th book of the year which means I hit my goal for 2020. I had estimated a little lower than last year, thinking we'd be busy with travelling and I wouldn't read much with Noah to entertain... but then COVID came along and I had a surprising amount of time to tuck into a book. The new goal A little light on the human side of the story and heavy on the football- which I found a bit difficult to follow! It was still a powerful story, but I definitely preferred the movie. In other news, this is my 85th book of the year which means I hit my goal for 2020. I had estimated a little lower than last year, thinking we'd be busy with travelling and I wouldn't read much with Noah to entertain... but then COVID came along and I had a surprising amount of time to tuck into a book. The new goal is 100 by the end of the year!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pasquale

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. (only read up to 300 at this point) This book is very interesting and tells a great story about a kid from horrible neighborhood who is taken in by a wealthy white family. But it dosn't just tell a story about Michael Oher, we learn and understand a lot about the job of a left tackle. Now one of the highest paid positions because it is possibly one of the most important on the field. It is known as the blind side because most quarterbacks are right handed are their backs are facing that way. a de (only read up to 300 at this point) This book is very interesting and tells a great story about a kid from horrible neighborhood who is taken in by a wealthy white family. But it dosn't just tell a story about Michael Oher, we learn and understand a lot about the job of a left tackle. Now one of the highest paid positions because it is possibly one of the most important on the field. It is known as the blind side because most quarterbacks are right handed are their backs are facing that way. a defender on that side can injure a quarterback badly by the blind side. In the book we learn about defenders on that side and how they made a living hitting the qb from that side. Being a left tackle is something Michael Oher seemed to be really good at. Being 6ft5 and over 300lbs as a high schooler, every single college coach on the planet wanted him to come to their school. Michael Oher was a natural athlete who grew up without a dad and a mom that never really cared for anything except drugs. A family by the name of Touhy took Michael in and gave him everything he needed. He becomes a star and its very inspiring to read this book. I love how he never gave up on the field but more importantly in school. A kid that has a learning disability, being tutored every single night and going to school everyday struggling, fights through it to get his grades up. Another favorite part of mine is how the Touhy family believed in this kid and he never let them down. Trying to grow up with out a father is something unimaginable for me but what Michael Oher went through his whole life is undescribable. Everybody, even his teacher doubted he would even to pass high school academically. The impact this book had on me is an eye opener. It makes us all take a step back and be thankful for what we have, because not many had a childhood worse then Michael before the Touhy family. My least favorite part in the book occured when the NCAA investigator show up in the Touhy's home questioning Michael. Taking up huge portions of his day is something that Michael did not have time for. He was trying to accomplish something and that couldve been a huge setback. I also think the Author did a very good job in writing and telling this story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    You don't have to be a football fan to enjoy this story, so don't put it aside for that reason. The author breaks down the portions of football you need to understand in order to get at the real story he is trying to tell, that of Michael Oher. This book can be appreciated on many different levels. For the student of football, getting the backstory of how the game has evolved and adapted is quite an education. For those who enjoy the human interest story, you get one of the best in the form of Mi You don't have to be a football fan to enjoy this story, so don't put it aside for that reason. The author breaks down the portions of football you need to understand in order to get at the real story he is trying to tell, that of Michael Oher. This book can be appreciated on many different levels. For the student of football, getting the backstory of how the game has evolved and adapted is quite an education. For those who enjoy the human interest story, you get one of the best in the form of Michael Oher. If you really want to dig deeper intellectually, the socioeconomic factors, especially regarding professional athletes, is glimpsed. There is just so much to this story and Michael Lewis does the job beautifully! As with any book made into a movie, I recommend reading it before watching it. But even doing the reverse, I found the book enjoyable and want to watch the movie again. So don't be afraid to pick up the book even if you think you've been tainted. I was about halfway through the book before it became something I'd only recommend to teens and older readers. It wasn't the use of the n-word that changed my recommendation, as I feel words and ideas like that help spur conversation with tweens. There are references to drug use and sales, but once again it opens avenues for talking about real issues. Even the deftly handled subject of siblings by multiple fathers wasn't too much. But when foul language and mention of strip clubs came into play, this definitely went beyond anything a tween should be reading, in my opinion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I have zero interest in football and wasn't planning to read this book, even though I consistently like everything that Michael Lewis writes. I came across a copy at a book swap, took it home and read it in 24 hours. Fantastic. An amazing story. Lewis is the master at explaining complicated data and trends and making them feel relevant (and understanding which ones actually ARE relevant); and linking them with real people's real stories. He makes these people so interesting, maybe more interesti I have zero interest in football and wasn't planning to read this book, even though I consistently like everything that Michael Lewis writes. I came across a copy at a book swap, took it home and read it in 24 hours. Fantastic. An amazing story. Lewis is the master at explaining complicated data and trends and making them feel relevant (and understanding which ones actually ARE relevant); and linking them with real people's real stories. He makes these people so interesting, maybe more interesting even than they are in real life. He's a master.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    My husband read this as a sports book, but as an educator I was very interested in the barriers poverty presents for getting through (or even "to") school. My father-in-law recently reminded me of the book when he recalled that Oher and his brother grew up in a section of Memphis where Census results showed not a single father in the entire zip code. Is anyone starting a Memphis Children's Zone? My husband read this as a sports book, but as an educator I was very interested in the barriers poverty presents for getting through (or even "to") school. My father-in-law recently reminded me of the book when he recalled that Oher and his brother grew up in a section of Memphis where Census results showed not a single father in the entire zip code. Is anyone starting a Memphis Children's Zone?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    Had no idea what was going on. I don't speak football. Had no idea what was going on. I don't speak football.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sharon :)

    Football isn’t my favorite but man did I learn alot about the other less high profile positions.

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