The maturation of Michael Oher

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The new movie, "Blind Side," depicting the life and trials of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, is a smash hit at the box office, one of the most popular attractions of the year. It might even receive some Academy Award nominations.

But Oher has stated publicly that he hasn't seen the movie and doesn't plan to. In fact, he said he hasn't even read the best-selling book by New York Times writer Michael Lewis that the movie is based on.

Oher insists he would have succeeded without the help of the family that is credited by one and all for turning the youngster's life around. Apparently, he is embarrassed by the way he is portrayed in the movie.

That's nonsense. If the Tuohy family of Memphis had not helped him, he wouldn't be playing in the NFL. Here's a kid who never played football until he moved in with the Tuohy family. Without them, he couldn't have done what he has done. He was living homeless and wasn't playing any sports as a junior in high school.

What Oher is saying now is a slap in the face to the family. He was embarrassed because he was a functional illiterate. His grades were horrible. There is no way he could have gone to college (to Ole Miss) with the family's help. He couldn't help himself. He was truant, not even attending classes when they found him.

The Tuohy family saw Oher walking by himself and sleeping in the gym. They got people at a Christian high school interested in him. He wasn't qualified to be in the school in the first place. But the family felt sorry for him and invited him to live with them. They got him tutoring so he could be accepted into college.

There is no doubt in my mind that he probably would be a gang member right now if not for the Tuohy family. He could not have succeeded on his own. It is a shame that, having taken advantage of his good fortune, he doesn't take the opportunity--as one of the most promising young players in the NFL--to acknowledge what the Tuohy family did for him.

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Why must you act so virtuous? You write about recruiting, etc., but you always inject a personal righteousness into nearly all posts that makes you look like every athlete's personal savior.

Good point and well said.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on January 17, 2010 9:57 AM.

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