Moments ago I just finished The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. Order it here. And that isn't to say that the amazon link is posted just so reader(s) know where to order the book, but that I'm ordering you to go get it if you haven't already. It will be required reading on this week's Hogs Haven test, which I expect you all to pass.
For serious though, if you haven't already read this book, go get it. It is outstanding and deserves a full review that I won't give for fear of failing miserably. This book deserves justice I can't provide. But what I can do is encourage Redskins fans specifically to seek this book out since a non-trivial amount of it is filled with Redskins anecdote. When my friend gave me the book, just a day ago, he said I'd love it because of the amount of print my Redskins received in it. And they did, and I loved it for a lot of reasons, that being just one. The first chapter opens:
One more, briefly. The book is about Michael Oher, a physically blessed athlete who is built to be a professional left tackle but is raised in the kind of environment that makes pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness
difficult damn near impossible. He overcomes the impossible in large part thanks to the altruism of others (though that's not taking anything away from Michael Oher, at all), especially Leigh Anne Tuohy, who effectively becomes his mother. Before that, she's his tailor, with the help of former Redskins starting quarterback Patrick Ramsey:
A few days later, he called back: "You've got these measurements wrong," he said, matter-of-factly. She explained that she had taken the measurements herself, and written them down on a piece of paper. It must be Patrick who had them wrong...
"There's no one on our team as big as he is," Ramsey said...
"Leigh Anne," said the Redskins quarterback, "we only have one player on this team who is even close, and he wears Wrangler blue jeans and flannel shirts and no black kid is going to be caught dead wearing that stuff." That would be Jon Jansen, the Redskins' starting right tackle.
Again, go read the book. Whenever discussion happens on who is the best sports writer in America, Michael Lewis always gets mentioned around these parts. I don't think "sports writer" fairly describes either the author or this particular book. Michael Lewis is a great writer, period, who happens to sometimes do so about sports. And The Blind Side is about a whole lot more than the left tackle position specifically, or football and sports generally. It's about a kid born into circumstances most people thankfully don't have to suffer through who, incredibly, against unimaginable odds, manages to escape abject poverty. The implications of that go well beyond Michael Oher's pending professional football career.
This is an excellent book.