Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Blind Side

I just came home from watching “The Blind Side”, a movie based on a book written by Michael Lewis. If you watch any TV I’m sure you’ve seen the trailer by now. Being a big fan of sports movies it was on my list of ‘must sees’ from the beginning. There was a lot of hype leading into this one and for me the movie lived up to its billing.

It was heartwarming, inspirational…well just add your own cliché here. It was so much more than a sports movie. More than once I found myself getting a little choked up. There were also plenty of laughs (and not just the scenes they show in the trailers) so it was well balanced. This is a must see movie this holiday season.

For those of you who don’t know “The Blind Side” is based on the true story of Michael Oher, an offensive tackle with the Baltimore Ravens. This is truly one of those feel good stories.

Oher is the son of a drug-addicted mother, who spent a lot of his young life in and out of foster care. A friend of Oher’s biological father was able to get him into a private Christian school. While attending, Michael is taken in by the Tuohy family and later adopted. With the help of some caring teachers, Oher was able to improve his failing grades enough to participate in sports, where he excelled in football.

When asked about Michael, Sean Tuohy, Oher’s adoptive father and radio analyst for the Memphis Grizzlies said, “He was a good kid when he came to our house. He was incredibly intelligent when he came to our house and of course incredibly athletic. We didn't have anything to do with all of that. All we did, as my wife said, was make sure he was fed and watered and had a nice place to sleep. Sometimes that's all kids need and they don't get it."

What impressed me the most about Michael Oher’s story wasn’t the opportunities he was given, but that he took advantage of those opportunities. He arrived at Briarcrest Christian School (called Wingate Christian in the movie) with barely passing grades and with the help of a tutor, was not only able to get his grades up to be eligible for college, once there he made the chancellor’s honor roll (he attended Ole Miss) while becoming one of the best offensive lineman in the country. The Baltimore Raven’s thought highly enough of him to trade up in the 2009 draft to get him. In his rookie season, he has started all the games so far this year.

How many times do we here about this person or that person, who has all the ability in the world, and given every opportunity to succeed, only to fail because they don’t take advantage of those opportunities. Michael had plenty of reason to just quit and give up, but he didn’t. I’m sure Mr. and Mrs. Tuohy are very proud of their son, I know as a parent I would be.
Picture taken by Ravens team photographer Shawn Hubbard.

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