Michael Lewis has come out with another sports book that's not limited to sports fans. This one is about football, The Blind Side and it's quite different than Moneyball, which covered baseball. While there is a underlying story of how football has changed to place more value on the left-tackle position, the real story is about Michael Oher, an exceptionally large black teenager who is essentially homeless and friendless in a west Memphis ghetto and how he becomes one of the most recruited college athletes. Michael finds his way to a Christian school in the suburbs and eventually into the home of a rich, Republican evangelical white family who raise him as one of their own. It's a sport-oriented family; the father is a former basketball star and the wife a cheerleader, both from Ole Miss. When they give him his own room in their house, and buy a bed for him, Michael at age 16 says it's the first time he's had his own bed. Michael's size alone is enough to impress college football scouts but he has real deficits, emotionally and intellectually, that this family helps him overcome. There are questions about whether the family's motives are tied to Michael's athletic future, with the idea of delivering him to their alma mater. However, what really seems to matter is that their love and care for him is something he's never experienced before, and as a result of that, he has a future whether it's football or not.Link
How many kids who start out like Michael and grow up without a future? How much human potential is lost because a child has not received the care of a good family and the support of a decent educational system? It makes you wonder how many kids there are living on our society's blind side, perhaps none of them as exceptional as Michael in sports, but each could make a valuable contribution in their own way. If they just had a way out, they'd take it and run with it.
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