The Blind Side( Michael Oher)

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Michael Oher is an immense human being. At the age of sixteen, he had a 20-inch neck, 50-inch waist, and a 58-inch chest. Larger measurements, that is, than every single member of the Washington Redskins. This fact alone meant that his final years in high school, Oher was the focus of attention of college coaches across America – grown men taking detours of hundreds of miles to watch him practice, in the hope of persuading him to play for their team. Had these coaches the power to design a prototypical left tackle, Oher’s six-foot-five, 330-pound frame would have been pretty close to their model. And yet the fact that he was even still at high school was, in itself, nothing short of a miracle. The focal point of Michael Lewis’s The Blind Side is the story of Oher’s transition from a teenager so neglected by society that the Memphis school board can’t really account for his academic record to an eighteen-year-old college recruit with the potential for earning millions when he hits the NFL draft (which he will do this April). Though Oher is the main narrative thrust, the book is a wide-ranging examination of the culture of American football, its tactical development, and most importantly of all, its uneasy relationship with the US educational system. Oher is one of sixteen siblings born in the poorest (black) parts of Memphis. The determination of a friend’s father to get his own son into one of the elite (white) Christian schools quite literally changes the course of Michael’s life. Though he has no education to speak of, the Tuohy family take him under their wing, eventually adding him to their will. Oher does not excel at school; after sixteen years where formal education has made little impact on his life, this is scarcely surprising. Yet in some remarkably moving passages, Lewis shows the before, and transmits their joy when they realise that despite his taciturn nature, he has actually been absorbing the material he’s been taught in class. Success in the...
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