When we first meet the young man at the center of this extraordinary and moving story, he is one of 13 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. And he has no serious experience playing organized 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.
In The Blind Side, Lewis shows us a largely unanalyzed but inexorable trend in football working its way down from the pros to the high-school game, where it collides with the life of a single young man to produce a narrative of great and surprising power.
"As he did so memorably for baseball in
Moneyball, Lewis takes a statistical X-ray of the hidden substructure of football, outlining the invisible doings of unsung players that determine the outcome more than the showy exploits of point scorers....Lewis probes the fascinating question of whether football is a matter of brute force or subtle intellect." (
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