SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Go See "The Blind Side"

The movie is based on Michael Lewis's book, which alternatively discusses the evolution of the left tackle position in the NFL and the curious case of Michael Oher, a homeless young man in Memphis whom a friend of Lewis from high school's family adopted. Oher, from an awful background, ended up as the ward of Sean and LeAnn Tuohy, enrolled in a Christian School, tried out for the football team, and had the size and coordination to get noticed by every school in the SEC. The evolution of the left tackle position came about because of the ability of fast right defensive ends (such as Lawrence Taylor) to dash around the left tackle and hit the quarterback on his blind side. The evolution of Oher is somewhat more remarkable.

The movie doesn't focus nearly as much on Lewis's observations about the evolution of the left tackle position. Lewis, who is as good a social commentator as there is, likes to point out trends and peel back many layers of the onion to analyze them (and, yes, that analogy is used in the movie). Instead, this movie focuses almost exclusively on Oher's compelling story, the gentle giant from a place called Hurt Village who grew up among some characters who would make Fagin from Oliver! look like Mother Theresa. We all know the result -- he went to Ole Miss, excelled, was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens and, at mid-season, playing right tackle, was named by no less an authority than Peter King of Sports Illustrated at the best at his position.

It's a warm movie and a great story. We all need to hear more inspirational stories, especially at a time where unemployment is very high and shows little signs of dropping and somehow the news that the recession has ended hasn't hit most businesses. People are testy, people are antsy, people are afraid. So, if you're any of those things, go see "The Blind Side." It's a good story with lessons in it for many.

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