I was floored by Michael Lewis’ Moneyball. I found it insightful, intelligent, and amazingly written. Lewis’s latest book The Blind Side is written just as well but isn’t quite the level of Moneyball, at least for me.
The Blind Side is about a born to play left tackle human named Michael Oher who is taken in by a white Evangelical family in East Memphis. Oher is black, from super-poor West Memphis and spent his childhood surviving on the streets of Memphis. The story of Oher coming out of his shell with the help of Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy. He makes tremendous strides and in the end gets recruited to play football at Ole Miss.
The story of how these two worlds came together is amazing and Lewis does an amazing job capturing it. Lewis captures all the parties included very well. He does another impressive job in describing people in a way that makes you feel like you’ve known them for years.
While telling the story of Oher, Lewis gives a history to the changing football mentality towards offensive lineman. How Lawrence Taylor, Bill Walsh and the West Coast offense shed new light on the skills need to play the left tackle position and the dollars that would inevitably follow.
The two drawbacks I have with The Blind Side are: 1) Lewis’s quickness in publishing the book and 2) a few historical mistakes.
Michael Oher is currently a left tackle at Ole Miss. He is still in school. The events that Lewis is describing happened very recently and maybe this story would be better is Lewis waited till Oher graduated.
The second complaint are two errors I came across. The first being that Steve Young won 1 Super Bowl not 2 with the 49ers. The second being that Tennessee beat LSU in Death Valley and not in Knoxville at the time Lewis is describing. These are minor mistakes in the grand scheme of things and have no barring on the story. The story is about Oher and the family Tuohy that took him in which is truly amazing.
The Blind Side is good. Like anything Michael Lewis writes, it is easy to read, enjoyable and interesting. I recommend reading it but I liked Moneyball better.