The book provides a good insight to the changes that the NFL has undergone in the last 20 odd years. It focuses prominently 2 players... Lawrence Taylor and Michael Oher. It's the second guy's story that caught my imagination. Simply because in it, in it one finds the warmth of generosity and hope. Perhaps charity will be a better word to describe that generosity. It's a story of how some people can just open and share their lives with a kid such as Michael Oher.
It's a story of a hope-less black kid who made it good. His first break was when a private Christian school accepted him, even though his reading ability was really low. Michael had gone in and out of the system in his early years and got hopelessly lost in the foster care system and also because his mother was a junkie who had countless children.
It's a story of how a white family, the Touhys took him in as their own, embraced him as family. And how good nurturing can transform a life; to heights unimaginable. They hired a personal tutor for him. They went to great lengths to make sure he made the cut-off grades for college. You can't get into college even though you have a football scholarship if you don't make the grades. I hadn't even heard about Michael Oher until I read this book. And after finishing the book, I Googled him up... a lot of what's in the book corresponds with his real life going by the reading... and there is a movie on this. Will be looking up for it. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar as the best actress. Have always liked Sandra Bullock, ever since I watch her on The Net. 8)
One of my friends told me that Americans are way too sports crazy. I see a plus point out of that... it's a way out for those with no academic inclinations but are endowed with physical prowess. In ancient societies, such people would have made superb hunters and leaders by virtue of their physical abilities. In today's world where brain rule over brawn, such people are often overlooked.... Sports give them that chance at life and balances the scale somewhat.
And the little bit of change that the book did to me.. I've begun to appreciate the strategizing that takes place in this brutish game too... like all games, you need to have a certain intelligence to be a good player... American football is no different. Definitely a book worthwhile reading. Book 11!