The Blind Side( Michael Oher) Essay

Words: 1060
Pages: 5

Michael Oher is an immense human being. At the age of sixteen, he had a 20-inch neck, 50-inch waist, and a 58-inch chest. Larger measurements, that is, than every single member of the Washington Redskins. This fact alone meant that his final years in high school, Oher was the focus of attention of college coaches across America – grown men taking detours of hundreds of miles to watch him practice, in the hope of persuading him to play for their team. Had these coaches the power to design a prototypical left tackle, Oher’s six-foot-five, 330-pound frame would have been pretty close to their model. And yet the fact that he was even still at high school was, in itself, nothing short of a miracle.
The focal point of Michael Lewis’s The Blind
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Oher’s coaches do not cover themselves in glory, either; the high school head coach is clearly angling for a job at the college level, and will try and pressure Michael into choosing the college most likely to further his own prospects.
Most unsettling of all, though, is Lewis’s stark portrayal of the alternative life he might have led. Going into Hurt Village, Memphis, Lewis tells the story of a broken community ravaged by drug gangs and grinding poverty. He also retells the story of ‘Big Zach’, who in the 1990s had attracted the same interest from college scouts that Michael Oher was. Yet Big Zach didn’t have an adoptive family to push him to work hard at high school; he dropped out before he could make it to college, and now looks back on what might have been.
It is in this wider picture that The Blind Side truly excels. Oher is the sort of kid who you can’t help but root for. It is a pleasure to read of his transformation in so many facets of his life, and you put the book down hoping that he is as successful in the NFL as his coaches hope for. But there are deeper questions at the heart of this book that are not so easily resolved. It is clear that Oher has a remarkable capacity for absorbing knowledge and copying it – that is the secret of his success