UPDATE: Monday, June 22.
Aaron, who played the part of Oher in the film, says the lineman needs to stop worrying about other people's opinions and appreciate the good the movie did.
"You gotta at some point notice the amount of people's lives this movie has touched in a positive, encouraging and inspiring manner," Aaron said. "At the end of the day, bro, you are a millionaire, you're famous, you are Super Bowl champ, you have an amazing family that loves you, friends fans and teammates."
He continued, saying he supports Oher and wants to help him focus on a better future instead of his perceived shortcomings.
Who gives a damn about what people say or think who want to criticize your game, bro. That shouldn't matter. Somebody is always gonna have something to say that you're not gonna like...So what? You had a couple bad seasons, I believe you've got a lot more fuel in the tnak so let's start hashing out some good ones and forget what people think about you. I got your back, brotha. God bless!
Now, Aaron's message isn't wrong.
Oher has come a long way since his foster days, and we would all do better if we appreciated the good things in life half as much as we worry about the bad. But there's another issue at play here—the messenger.
Aaron, well-intentioned as he may be, has stranded us in a paradoxical loop where the actor who played a character based on a real guy is telling the real guy to focus on being more like the character played by the actor.
It's the Lazarian Triangle all over again.
I don't know what to say at this point. Have a good day, everyone. And try not to get sucked into the dude vortex.
---End of Update---
The 2009 film The Blind Side is one of those movies that's easy for most people to love.
Cultural barriers are crossed, a disadvantaged youth finds a way to a better life, and the good guys win.
It's a neat little "based on a true story" bundle about the virtues of people helping people, and it only really digs at complexity if you're Michael Oher, the Carolina Panthers left tackle whose struggle for survival as a foster child in Memphis, Tennessee, serves as the film's basis.
"I'm not trying to prove anything," Oher told Newton. "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."
Oher, who has yet to establish himself as a dominant offensive lineman after the Baltimore Ravens drafted him 23rd overall in 2009, says the movie has caused people to hold him to an unrealistic standard.
"This stuff, calling me a bust, people saying if I can play or not...that has nothing to do with football," Oher said. "It's something else off the field. That's why I don't like that movie...That's why people criticize me. That's why people look at me every single play."
It does seem like Oher is fighting an uphill battle when it comes to living up to public expectations. A lot of people saw The Blind Side, remember Quinton Aaron's portrayal of Oher as a quiet kid with otherworldly blocking abilities and expect the same results at the NFL level.
So yes, it's not surprising to hear the guy who just wanted a safe place to sleep at night as a youth grew up to resent the movie that packaged him as a folk hero capable of football wizardry. After all, hype is hype, and trying to live up to your finest moments every day, in front of thousands, sounds like the most tiring job of all.
Dan is on Twitter. He undermines the hype to keep expectations low.