Michael Oher is headed to football’s greatest game today, alongside his Baltimore teammates. He wants fans to know that he got here on his talent, not his movie namesake. Oher, who was depicted in the 2009 film The Blind Side (starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw) says he is tired of fielding questions and comments about the film. He also decries the many inaccuracies made about his past in the film.
At a press conference Tuesday at the Superdome, Oher stated “I’m tired of the movie. I’m here to play football. Football is what got me here and the movie, it wasn’t me. I always knew how to play football growing up. It was different personalities, stuff like that. Playing football is what got me to this point.”
Oher remains close to his adopted family, the Tuohys, as they travel to and from Baltimore regularly to see him play. Today, they will watch from the Superdome seats as they cheer on their son and brother. Oher reiterated to the media that his close ties to his family do not imply a future career in acting: "I'm not in the movies, man. I play football; I work hard on the field. That's why I don't like talking about [the movie], because it kind of takes away from my hard work on the field. I kind of feel a little bit under-appreciated, but as long as my team and the guys in the locker room know what I bring to the table, it's all good.''
Oher wrote his own book after the movie was released, titled, I Beat the Odds, in which he discusses his goals for setting the record straight. The following excerpt is taken from Oher’s book.
“My book is as different from the other two as they are different from each other, and I have a couple of goals that I'd like to accomplish with it. The first is that I want to help separate fact from fiction. After the movie came out, there were a lot of people asking me if my life was exactly how it was shown on screen. Obviously, the movie makers have to make artistic choices to tell the story in the best way, but some of the details, like me having to learn the game of football as a teenager or me walking to the gym in November wearing cut-off shorts, just aren't true. Since so many people seem interested in these details, I hope that I can help to make a little more sense out of it all for them.
My second goal with this book, and the much more important one, is that I want to talk about—and to—the nearly 500,000 children in America whose lives have been so rough that the state has determined they're better off being cared for by someone other than their parents. The odds are stacked against those children. Less than half will ever graduate from high school. Of the ones who drop out, almost half of the boys will be imprisoned for violent crimes. Girls in foster care are six times more likely to have children before the age of twenty-one than are girls in stable families. And of those kids, more than half will end up in foster care themselves. The outlook is pretty bleak for kids like me.
I beat the odds.”
During today’s Superbowl against the 49ers, Oher and his teammates are hoping to have the odds stacked in their favor. Oher, the Raven’s right tackle is up against the 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who is in his second NFL season. Kaepernick scored most of his field experience this season. The Raven’s quarterback, Joe Flacco, has five years of postseason play under his helmet. One thing is certain; today’s game is set to be a great one.