During his first time around to the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens following the 2012 season, Michael Oher avoided answering any questions at all about his football story turned family movie – “The Blind Side.” This time though, the 6 ft 4 in, 315 lb, 29-year-old from Memphis, Tennessee is much better prepared to talk about his life. Only this time, Oher is heading back to the Superbowl with the heavily favored Carolina Panthers.
“I’m a lot wiser, smarter now than then, coming from where I’ve come from the last year or two,’’ the left tackle said. “I’ve got to wise up a little bit.’’
It has always been assumed and reported that the football star was never really happy about the “Blind Side” film. As Oher now readily admits, there were indeed aspects about the 2009 Hollywood movie of his rags-to-riches story that was not true to his life as it was portrayed on-screen. The main contention was with how the film made the larger than life man as a boy who was fairly clueless about football, and it took a little white woman to teach him the game, when in real life, Oher was quite proficient at football.
Oher has gotten over his hard feeling for the film and also gets that it is a beloved movie and people always respond very positively when they see pictures of him with his Memphis family — Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy — the family that adopted a young Oher, to help provide a much more stable life.
Following Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against Arizona, Oher posted a new picture with his real life “Blind Side” family.
“They’re my family,’’ Oher said. “Without them I wouldn’t be here. They taught me a lot of things, showed me a lot of different things.
“It shows that if you help somebody, give somebody a chance and don’t judge people, look where that can get you.’’
After the 2008 season, Oher was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American, made the honor roll for the second time (the first time being his sophomore year), and graduated with a degree in criminal justice in the spring of 2009. Drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the NFL draft, Oher played and won his first Superbowl with the team in February 3, 2013. Oher went on to sign a four-year, $20 million contract with the Tennessee Titans, where injuries digressed his abilities and was released on February 5, 2015. That is when a certain superstar quarterback was keeping tabs on the massive LT.
Quarterback Cam Newton has talked about how far Oher has come from this time a year ago when the former first-round pick was about to be released by the Tennessee Titans. This ultimately led to Oher finding a new family with the Super Bowl bound Carolina Panthers.
Cam recounted about a time that he texted Oher (like he has other potential free agents) to say he hoped Oher would consider coming to the Panthers. Newton needed Oher because former left tackle Byron Bell struggled to protect Newton’s ‘blind side’ last season.
As Newton explained how his text to Oher went.
“I didn’t say ‘I wanted you to be here,'” Newton said. “It was ‘I need you.’ Want and need are two, big different words. That’s what I used in the texts along with other words and [expletives] before the need [factor].
“I think he got the feeling from it.’’
“He’s been a key asset, to say the least,’’ Newton said.
A photo posted by @michaeloher on
Oher is one of the subjects of Michael Lewis‘s 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. Before the book was published, excerpts appeared in The New York Times Magazine as “The Ballad of Big Mike.” His portion of the book was adapted for film and was directed by John Lee Hancock. It was released in the United States on November 20, 2009. The movie stars Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher, alongside Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. The movie was nominated for Academy Awards for both Best Picture and Best Actress for Bullock. Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Source) ESPN, Wikipedia