By Joni B. Hannigan
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (BP)–Michael Oher, offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, missed out on earning the NFL’s top honor for a rookie, but he made a pitch that Sandra Bullock should win the Oscar for playing the part of his adoptive mother, Leigh Ann Tuohy, in “The Blind Side.”
Days before Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida, Oher fielded reporters’ questions in an informal press conference after a presentation for NFL Rookie of the Year Percy Harvin, wide receiver and kick returner for the Minnesota Vikings, was cancelled.
Oher, one of five ROY finalists, started every game in 2009, 11 at right tackle and 5 at left tackle. In his first post-season game against the New England Patriots Jan. 10, he did not allow a single sack in the 33-14 win.
Oher said the nomination was an honor.
“Coming from where I come from, it’s been a long road,” Oher said. “To come in and play right away and to have the type of season I had, it’s been a break for me and I had a lot of fun.”
The movie, “The Blind Side,” the story of Oher’s rise from poverty and instability — and his ultimate rise to the NFL — after he was taken in by a Christian family was a surprise box office hit last year, earning more than $150 million and an Oscar nomination for its star, Sandra Bullock.
Oher called the movie inspiring, answered a few questions, but made it clear he wanted to stick to talk about football.
“Sandra Bullock did a great job, and the other actors and actresses,” Oher said. “It was great.”
The comedic Jae Head, the young actor who played S.J. Tuohy — Michael’s “brother by another mother” — was another Oher favorite.
“Probably S.J., yeah, he did a great job, that’s my guy right there,” Oher laughed.
When Baptist Press asked him what his NFL teammates who watched the movie thought about it, Oher said they told him it was a “great story.” He also shared that some poetic license was taken with the story.
“It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me,” he laughed.
Pushed to explain, he said the football scenes were off.
“I’ve been playing football since the eighth grade,” Oher said. “I’ve always started … so I’ve always understood the game.
“I’m a fan of the game.”
Joni B. Hannigan is managing editor of the Florida Baptist Witness (www.gofbw.com), newsjournal of the Florida Baptist State Convention.