Baltimore Ravens

Michael Oher The Blind Side: Super Bowl Gives Ravens OL Stage to Show True Self

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 25:  A portrait of Michael Oher #74 of the Baltimore Ravens during the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 25, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2013

For casual viewers of the Super Bowl, most know Michael Oher, offensive lineman of the Baltimore Ravens, as the subject of the Hollywood film The Blind Side.

And while Oher's story is an inspiring one, his depiction in the film wasn't the most flattering. Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com notes that Oher the man is far different from the Oher character in that film:

In the movie, Oher is portrayed as somewhat slow-witted, lethargic and not athletic. The film suggests he didn’t know the basics of football before he was taken in by the well-to-do Tuohy family and put into shoulder pads.

The lack of respect of his sports know-how is the primary reason why Oher said he doesn’t like the movie.

“The movie showed me not doing something so well that got me here, something I’ve always understood,” Oher said. “Everything else is good, but them showing me not knowing how to play football, that’s what upsets me the most.”

Part of the reason why it touches a nerve with Oher is that in reality he’s a student of the game and an extremely hard worker. 

And now, it's a chance for Oher to show everyone that's the case. There's no bigger stage than the Super Bowl.

Oher and the Ravens will certainly be put to the test against the San Francisco 49ers, a team with arguably the best defense in the league this year. At right tackle, he'll occasionally find himself lined up against Justin or Aldon Smith, two very dangerous pass-rushers.

In other words, Oher will have his hands full. He won't have time to worry about film depictions. He'll only have time to worry about keeping his quarterback, Joe Flacco, on his feet. It's his chance to show off those football smarts.

Of course, Leigh Anne Tuohy, who, along with her family, adopted Oher, thinks her son is missing the bigger picture when he judges the film. From Kate Fagan of ESPN:

She prefers to focus on the platform that the movie, which grossed more than $300 million, has given her family.

Tuohy even gets a little animated when discussing Oher's negative reaction to the film. "Michael gets exasperated because he thinks the movie makes him look bad," she said during an interview with espnW, in a voice sounding full of love. "I say, 'You know what? Get over yourself! It's not always about you.'"

On Sunday, Oher and Tuohy both get their wish. Oher can show folks he's more than the player depicted in the film. And though it might annoy Oher, people bringing up the film can return the conversation to the foster care system, a cause close to Tuohy's heart.

Sometimes, a game is just a game. Sometimes, it means so much more. For Oher and Tuohy, it will be both on Sunday.

 

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