While today's Cotton Bowl match up between Ole Miss and Texas Tech is sure to be a great game, the back story--or actually the story up front, is even more compelling.
The Blind Side by Michael Lewis (author of other gems such as Liar's Poker and Moneyball) is the amazing story of Michael Oher and the evolution of the most important spot on the line--the left offensive tackle. (ibid: Jake Long) The book documents the evolution of the game along with the evolution of an illiterate, disinfranchised, amazingly gifted poor black kid from Memphis who is taken in by a well-to-do rich white Christian family--and transformed. The most compelling thing about this book for me is the sociological truth that in this country, although we like to believe it is true, we are in no way a meritocracy. Rather those with access and social privilege can maximize their potential, while those with limited resources, dreams, and social support are more likely to recapitulate their life circumstances over and over and over rather than succeed. If you compare what could have become the story of Michael Oher had the Tuohys NOT taken him in, and the story that will become Michael Oher on draft day---you will understand exactly why Michael Lewis' book is a MUST read. And why I'll be rooting for the entire Ole Miss crew.