The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game (Anglais) CD – Version coupée, Livre audio
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Le titre tient ses promesses puisque l'évolution du jeu, notamment l'avènement du LT superstar grâce au n°56 y est bien couvert, de même que le scouting ainsi que le recrutement des lycéens par les universités.
Les autres y verront une lecture très enrichissante sur la société américaine, ses inégalités sociales et le nouveau rêve américain.
Dans l'ensemble, une très bonne lecture avec un style fluide et simple.
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I was not disappointed. Lewis has a way of writing that brings something which you are not a part of into your life and make you one with it. Some of his short works i still find that I remember vividly, twenty years later and recite from on occasion.
Here we have an encouraging story of a young black boy who really has nothing in his life but his athletic ability. We have a good family that certainly does not need to exploit the boy. So they did what we all should want to do if our situations allowed, take the boy in and help. But the story is not just about that, it covers the evolution of football, these last thirty to forty years as marquee quarterbacks, or productive west-coast offense systems come into play.
In essence it is two books because of that, and it is what makes the story. I had to call my football buddy up half-way through and tell him I had a book he needed to read. Now I have to watch a game and wonder what the left tackle is doing.
This book was a very good read, and well worth the time and effort. It may not be as fun ultimately as Playing for Pizza by Grisham, but it is pretty good in its own way.
But what will be of greater human interest is the overlay of the story of Michael Oher, the "man/child" currently playing football at Ole Miss. Oher shows up at a predominantly white Christian school in the 9th grade with virtually no school history and horrible family background. An incredibly shy 350 pound kid struggles but ingratiates himself to faculty and staff and manages to stick around. Finally one Thanksgiving Day a volunteer assistant coach and his wife see him at a bus stop in his usual shorts and recognize that in addition to no money for food, he is traveling to the gym to watch practice just to be in a heated room. Through incredible acts of kindness and caring this young man is taken in by this wealthy Christian family who attempt to socialize and educate him for the future.
But little did they realize that at 6' 6" with an incredible frame and quick feet, football coaches would see their answer to possibly the most important position on the football field and they would relentlessly come calling. This presents many problems as Oher has virtually no chance of attending college with his past educational background. Thus begins the odyssey of the recruiting wars for this individual who by the end of high school has been called the best pro prospect even though he has played in only 15 football games.
This portion of the book dominates approximately 70% of the book. It is incredibly touching and I certainly applaud the sympathetic, caring approach by Leigh Ann and Sean Tuohy. This book is not just for football fans as the issues here are much greater. How does a child get to the 9th grade with virtually no retention of knowledge or ability to function in a social setting? What can a change in culture and caring do for this young man? And other questions will also appear such as is their potential ulterior motives for selecting this student out of so many and wasn't the final steps to eligibility really inappropriate? As to my opinion I choose to believe that the Tuohy's were interested in helping another human being, and in the process, it enriched the lives of their family, this young man and the possibilities that a loving, caring environment can create.
I strongly recommend this book for football fans, sociologists, and people with interest in politics, religion, or Southern Culture as there are many issues intertwined. Once again, the weakness to this book may be that he narrowed its focus by making it a "sports book". It's not. Its main message concerns underprivileged kids and how a change in environment can produce incredible results.
As a matter of disclosure, I live in Memphis, have leased Tuohy's his plane in the past and have many mutual friends. He and his wife have exceptional reputations and I applaud their involvement in helping this man.
In this case, Mr. Lewis shows how the left tackle position has rose from obscurity in the 1960s into one of the highest-paid positions in the current game. The initial focus is in how specialized a person must be to play this position as the highest level (more rare than many other positions). After this description, Mr. Lewis introduces us to Michael Oher, a person who has all of the physical tools and then some but has never played organized sports and has basically been abandoned since early childhood.
The people (parents, coaches, etc.) all want to help Mr. Oher fulfill his potential. However, it doesn't come off as being completely altrusitic as all benefit whom are in his presence, e.g., coach parlays his involvement into a college coaching position. In addition, the recruiting battles for Mr. Oher's services amplify these traits.
His adoptive parents and coaches seem angelic compared to the NCAA in this story. One of the most sobering statitistics quoted in this book is that only one of five players capable of playing in the NFL ever make through the legal and educational morass that is the NCAA.
It's hard not to root for Mr. Oher and I would think we'll see his name at the top of the draft board in 2007-2008. Excellent book and highly recommended.
Michael Lewis does a superb job of combining football statistics with human life drama as he chronicles the serendepidous coming together of the Touhy family and Michael Oher and all that follows.
If you love big time college football you'll enjoy reading about recruiting tactics of big time coaches, i.e. Fullmer, Saban, & others.
If you love NFL football you'll enjoy the statistical based reasoned explanation of how the game has evolved & changed over the past couple of decades. Throw in descriptions of personalities about prominent NFL people, i.e. Walsh, Ogden, Wallace, and others and you have a statistical based explanation with a genuine human approach.
Lewis is "Grishamesque" in his treatment of Michael Oher - I'm pulling for Michael to become an all pro left tackle.
Details of Michael's struggles, perserverance and successes brought tears to my eyes. Details of the Touhy family's care and nurturing of Michael reinforced my belief in the good of mankind. The world needs more people like them!!
Michael's final encounter with Antonio Turner caused me to jump to my feet, thrust my fist into the air and say, YES!!!!
This book is an incredible read about life, fate,big time sports and the economic value of highly skilled athletes. It is also about something more - the great economic and cultural divide in this country as evidenced by Urban America in general and Hurt Village and Dixie Homes in particular. Political leaders and public policy makers should read this book - it strikes at the heart of one of our country's greatest challenges in the 21st century - how do we close the gap between the "haves and have nots?"
I love football and probably have a slightly higher-than-average knowledge of the game (for a chick who was never allowed to play on a real team!) but this book taught me a few things about both the game and the business of football, on the college and professional levels.
Another "blind side" is the view of some serious holes in our society: that such desperate poverty exists alongside such immense wealth; that a child can be lost for YEARS without housing, education, health care, or any measure of security; that most of us really ought to be both more generous and more clear-minded about our responsibilities to each other and our ability to be of use. For me, this book's view of the generous acceptance, and the limits of the generosity and acceptance of a Southern Evangelical Christian community was alone worth the price of admission.
And perhaps "evolution" also includes the gaming of the ridiculous NCAA eligibility/compensation system, the dance of altruism and self-interest among some of the characters, and the growth of the young man at the heart of the story. But maybe I'm over-reaching.
I'm thinking of the old expression "neither flesh nor fowl nor good red herring." This book is like that; it's about a lot of different ideas. I think Michael Lewis does a terrific job of telling the story, without a tidy conclusion and without telling us the motivations of the people involved, instead letting us decide.
Personally, I applaud the Touhy family, here's a quote from the book by the adoptive mother: "I want a building...we're going to open a foundation that's only going to help out kids with athletic ability who don't have the academics to go to college. Screw the NCAA. I don't care what people say. I don't care if they say we're only interested in them because they're good at sports. Sports is all we know about."
If you want just one thing from a book, a football strategy guide, a tale of unlikely success, or a primer on Ole Miss, you might be disappointed. But if you want to take a deeper, closer look at a piece of our society (and you don't think that sports are a waste of time) I think you will be richly rewarded by this book. I was.