Ben Orlin in Math With Bad Drawings:
Three seasons in the NFL? Impressive.
PhD in applied math at MIT? Also impressive.
Four consecutive consonants in your surname? Very impressive.
Perhaps none of these achievements, in isolation, is enough to confer celebrity. But look to the center of this peculiar Venn diagram, and you will find only a single name inscribed: John Urschel.
Urschel’s new memoir—Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football, cowritten with his partner Louisa Thomas—is a good classroom book, a multipurpose tool. His NFL background makes him a role model for the reluctant. His logic puzzles are brain food for the math-hungry. And his dual career is a conversation starter for everyone else.