Many people have seen the movie by now and, as someone who loves to compare books to their adaptations, I felt that I should read the book. The two start out similarly enough, counting the less than five seconds it could take from the snap of the ball in a play to ending someone’s career. But from their they diverge in a lot of ways.
While the movie focuses solely on the life of Michael Ohr and how he came to play left tackle in the NFL, the book has a much larger undertaking. Lewis delves into the history of the sport and seeks to explain its evolution–from running game to passing game, from the left tackle being considered the same as any offensive lineman to being considered a unique and high-paid player. A part of me was interested in this information. The politics of sports is always fascinating to me since there’s so much going on that just being a fan of the sport you might miss. At the same time, that information isn’t as compelling as Michael’s story.
This is the problem with a story being told from an outsider’s perspective (as opposed to from the point of view of someone who actually lived through the experience), it feels somewhat removed and impersonal and the outside facts tend to intrude.
The one thing that the book had that the movie lacked was more details about the before (Michael’s childhood) and the after (what became of the Tuohy family and Michael). There’s more explanation of how Michael ended up where he did, though I think Lewis makes it all too simple to explain someone’s entire nature.
It’s not the best of the sports books I’ve read in the last few months, but it is interesting to see how it differs from the movie and for football fans, there’s a lot of information about the sport that’s cool to learn.
Interested in reading the book? Check it out here: The Blind Side