Most of you know the story of Michael Oher, the 6’4 offensive lineman out of Ole Miss who’s now headed to the Super Bowl for the Carolina Panthers. Oher’s early life became the subject of a Michael Lewis book in 2006 and later a movie in 2009 called The Blind Side. Despite having a mother and 12 brothers and sisters, Oher was adopted by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy while he was 17. Yes, you’ve heard this all before. Yes this is not new information. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy in 2010. It’s all very heartwarming.
Needless to say, Oher and his adopted family have stayed close over the years. Leigh Anne often travels the country attending many of his games. She’s as loud and boisterous and happy-go-lucky as she was portrayed in The Blind Side.
On Sunday, following the NFC Championship, Oher celebrated with the Tuohys on the field.
With the Super Bowl two long weeks away, you’ll undoubtedly hear the story of Michael Oher hundreds of times. And you’ll probably get annoyed. And that’s fine. The whole thing has probably been played up far too much over the years. Even Oher is sick of it. In 2015, he delivered this damning quote about the movie affecting his play.
“People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie. They don’t really see the skills and the kind of player I am. That’s why I get downgraded so much, because of something off the field. This stuff, calling me a bust, people saying if I can play or not … that has nothing to do with football. It’s something else off the field. That’s why I don’t like that movie.”
All that being said, it’s still a nice story. Let’s not do that thing on the Internet where we turn a nice, true story into a crappy one where we turn everyone into villains. Yes, please don’t do that.