Film: Blind Side
Screenplay: John Lee Hancock
Role: Leigh Anne Touhy
Actor: Sandra Bullock
Length: approx. 2 minutes minimum
There’s a moment of orderly silence before a football play begins. Players are in position, linemen are frozen, and anything is possible. Then, like a traffic accident, stuff begins to randomly collide. From the snap of the ball to the snap of the first bone is closer to four seconds than five.
One Mississippi. Joe Theismann, the Redskins’ quarterback, takes the snap and hands off to his running back. Two Mississippi. It’s a trick play, a flea-flicker, and the running back tosses the ball back to the quarterback.Three Mississippi. Up to now, the play’s been defined by what the quarterback sees. It’s about to be defined by what he doesn’t. Four Mississippi. Lawrence Taylor is the best defensive player in the NFL, and has been from the time he stepped onto the field as a rookie. He will also change the game of football as we know it. Legendary quarterback Joe Theismann never played another down of football.
Now, y’all would guess that, more often than not, the highest paid player on an NFL team is a quarterback, and you’d be right. But what you probably don’t know is, that more often than not, the second highest paid player is, thanks to Lawrence Taylor, a left tackle. Because, as every housewife knows, the first check you write is for the mortgage, but the second is for the insurance. And the left tackle’s job is to protect the quarterback from what he can’t see coming. To protect his blind side. The ideal left tackle is big, but a lot of people are big. He’s wide in the butt and massive in the thighs. He has long arms, giant hands and feet as quick as a hiccup. This is a rare and expensive combination the need for which can be traced to that Monday night game and Lawrence Taylor.
For on that day, he not only altered Joe Theismann’s life, but mine as well.