THE “OHER” SIDE
It is said there are two sides to every story. Sometimes there are three – if there are two books and a movie – as is the case with the story of Michael Oher.
The movie was popular and won Oscars. As such it told the story in a “Hollywoodized” fashion. It followed the book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game which told the story in a streamlined way intertwined with commentaries on the game of football.
In I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to the Blind Side and Beyond we get the whole story from the one who lived it. We get the “Oher” side. Michael Oher fills in gaps in the book and corrects things the “film got wrong.“
Michael’s story, judged by its horrific beginnings, is one that should have “played out” and ended badly. Instead, it evolved with a series of lucky breaks and ended almost miraculously with his becoming an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. It is also the up-close view of how Michael, burning with a desire for a better life, deliberately chose how he would respond to both obstacles and opportunities and how those choices made the critical difference.
One of thirteen children of a drug-addicted mother, and a father who was murdered while in prison, Michael knew anguishing poverty, chronic hunger, fear, homelessness, and the insecurities of frequently shifting foster homes. While he found friends, mentors, and a loving adoptive family who supported him on his way to the NFL, he contributed the key ingredients: talent, tenacity, and focused hard work.
Read his story as a rags to riches adventure, an example of the power of the human spirit to overcome the greatest odds, proof that “It takes a village to raise a child”, or an opportunity to meet an extraordinary, warm and engaging human being, but read it. You will find, as so many readers have found, it will move and inspire you.