Disclaimer: This is just a reflection on a chapter in The Blind Side for one of the kids that I tutor.
I have known many boys who dream of going to the NFL. To most African American boys, this seems possible because they see so many men that look like them become successful and sign million dollar contracts. I can understand why they would choose to dream of something that seems within their reach. I would encourage any little boy with this dream to chase it because it is important that children believe they can do anything they want to do. And they can.
In this chapter, I learned a lot about the demand for football players. I learned that any player with talent can earn a lot of money to perform on the football field. But sadly, I learned that it is also important to have a certain body type to play a certain position. It seems unfair that a person can have all the talent in the world, yet because of something they cannot control will never get the opportunity to live their dream. To make matters worse, the trends for what colleges and the NFL are looking for change over time. A guy who is small and fast might not be in demand as a running back at the time when he is trying to make a professional time. But just a couple years later that same guy could be exactly what coaches are looking for.
However, on the positive side, I think of Michael Oher. Although we haven’t learned much about him at this point of the book, I gather he is not a typical football player. Yet, there is something special about him that Tom Lemming sees. I think he is a humble person and an introvert. He is probably the type of person who sees everyone the same. The fact that he didn’t know who Tom Lemming was and didn’t immediately get excited about his offer to play in the All-American game, makes me think he might find importance in many things other than football.
I am interested to see what happens with Oher in the book. I want to find out why he didn’t talk to Lemming and why it was so difficult for Lemming to find out anything about him. If he ends up being a successful NFL player, how did he go unnoticed, especially at his size?!?!!??