This edition of the quotefest is full of thought-provoking Blind Side quotes that need no further explanation from us.
“All by himself, Lawrence Taylor altered the environment and forced opposing coaches and players to adapt. In addition to being the reason the NFL started keeping track of quarterback sacks, Lawrence Taylor was the only rookie ever named the NFL’s most valuable defensive player.”
No I in Team
“In football you never do anything alone. Even though you’re Joe Montana you still need Jerry Rice, and the nine other guys on the offense, if you’re going to be any good. That’s why Terrell Owens got himself in so much trouble. He thought he was bigger than the game. And no one player is bigger than the game.”
Football history, like personal history, is cleaner and more orderly in retrospect than it is at the time. It tends not to have crisp beginnings and endings. It progresses an accident at a time.
The Leader of the Pack
Offensive linemen were the stay-at-home mothers of the NFL: everyone paid lip service to the importance of their contribution yet hardly anyone could tell you exactly what that was. The offensive line never abandoned, at least in public, its old vague socialistic ideology. All for one, one for all, as to do our jobs well we must work together, and thus no one of us is especially important. But by the mid-1990s the market disagreed: it had declared this one member of the offensive line a superstar.
Michael wasn’t stupid. He was ignorant, but a lot of people mistook ignorance for stupidity, and knowingness for intelligence. He’d been denied the life experience that led to knowingness, which every other kid at Briarcrest took for granted.
Law and Order
Rule number one was that a kid did not steal, or fight, or get into trouble of any sort; and what was a rule for white kids was an iron law for a black kid. Because a black kid who got into trouble in the white world was a black kid on his way out of that world.
The Scarlet Number
The zip code for Hurt Village, 38105, was social prison outside Hurt Village. Several residents told the researchers that they’d ceased looking for work because potential employers would see their zip code and reject them out of hand. “In all our travels,” said another researcher, TK Buchanan, “we never came across a single Cadillac welfare queen.”
A Vicious Cycle
It was part of being hopelessly poor that events conspired to keep you poor; if it wasn’t one thing, it was another.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The world that had once taken no notice of Michael Oher was now so invested in him that it couldn’t afford to see him fail. Of course, he wasn’t the first black kid to rise from poverty and make it in the white world. But Michael was different, because the white world had so unusually aided and abetted his rise.
The Problem We All Live With
“The problem isn’t intelligence. It’s access to the system.”
People are no better at seeing the various paths their lives might have taken than football fans are at seeing the many different things that might have happened on any single play. People note outcomes, and reason backward from them. Michael noted his outcome and concluded that his life was always going to work out.
Zero to Hero
Michael Oher might have been born to play left tackle in the NFL, but if he had remained in the environment into which he was born, no one would have ever known about his talent. I still find this remarkable. He’d gone from among the least valued fifteen-year-olds on the planet to among the most highly prized eighteen-year-olds.
So… Do you have a favorite quote from the list? Did The Blind Side make you more interested in learning more about football and Michael Oher? Let us know in the comments! |RL