Michael Lewis on Michael Oher

It’s so seldom that things work out the way they’re supposed to work that I’m a little shocked. It’s interesting to me because it’s so hard to look at a 16-year-old kid and say he’s a first-round NFL draft pick and that Tom Lemming did that when he was 16, it’s unbelievable. You know, baseball scouts look at 22-year-old college students and whiff completely. I’m really impressed that someone was able to see that in him so early.
And I’m impressed by him. It would have been so easy for him to give himself an excuse to fail and to not listen to people, to rebel. It would’ve been so easy for him to give himself an out. He worked very hard to get to where he is.

In fact, the one thing that slightly disturbed me about this whole process is, I watched these guys who supposedly project the draft and actually have no idea what will happen, these guys on ESPN. Todd McShay went on the TV and said he was one of the three greatest character risks of the draft. This kid has unbelievable character. I say that as someone who has occasionally been on the wrong side of him. I’ve seen that he’s sensitive and occasionally a little fragile. But to get where he is from where he was, is an unbelievable act of courage and determination and willpower and all the things you need to succeed in anything in life. For people not to see that – even if they didn’t have this book to read – for people not to see that is appalling.