I am a huge biography fan; as much as I love learning about concepts and ideas, those ideas become so much more meaningful when they’re connected to a person. I am not, however, a huge football fan. In fact, sports in general have always baffled me. I just don’t get the appeal. So how did I end up reading The Sacred Acre: The Ed Thomas Story by Mark Tabb?
The simplest explanation is that I was just looking for something encouraging to read. And in reading about Thomas’ crucial role in Parkersburg’s recovery, his bold proclamation that the team’s field would be ready for the first home game of the 2008 season (100 days after the tornado), and the impact that Thomas had on so many former players (many of whom went on to play in the NFL), I got exactly that.
This is not a traditional biography, in that it doesn’t start with Thomas’ birth and end with his death, murdered at the hands of a mentally-ill former student in June of 2009. Tabb could have written that book, but I don’t know if it would have been nearly as compelling to read. Instead, he chooses to focus heavily on what turned out to be the last year of Thomas’ life, from the day of the tornado until his murder, peppering in relevant details about his background as he went. The result is a book that highlights Thomas’ character more than his just his accomplishments. And I think that’s what I appreciated most about the book because it made me care about this man who I’d never heard of until reading this book. [Read more...]