Baltimore Ravens lineman Michael Oher is sick and tired of having reporters ask him about "The Blind Side,” the film based on his early life, especially since Hollywood apparently distorted some of the events with its "artistic license."
The offensive tackle has helped lead the Ravens to their first trip to the Super Bowl since 2000, but his NFL skills, apt as they may be, aren’t his true claim to fame.
Michael Lewis’ best-selling book “The Blind Slide” was made into a 2009 motion picture starring Sandra Bullock, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy.
The Internet Movie Data Base describes the film as “The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.”
But Oher says the movie didn’t portray him or his family as they truly were.
The now 6-foot-4, 310-pound, 24-year-old set out to tell his side of the story and set the record straight in his book "I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to The Blind Side and Beyond," written with veteran journalist Don Yaeger.
"I felt like it portrayed me as dumb, instead of as a kid who had never had consistent academic instruction and ended up thriving once he got it," Oher wrote.
He also wanted everyone to know that the Tuohys, the family who took him in, didn’t teach him the fundamentals about football.
"I've been studying, really studying, the game since I was a little kid," he said in the book.
When Oher and her other children were upset with how the movie turned out, Leigh Anne Tuohy, the matriarch of the family, said the message of the movie overpowered its minor inaccuracies.
"I sat all three of them down and said, 'Get over it. Man up.' The message of the movie is so powerful," The Commercial Appeal of Memphis quoted Tuohy saying.
Now that Oher's team has made it to the Super Bowl the athlete is hearing more about the movie than he’d like.
“I’m tired of the movie. I’m here to play football,” Oher reportedly said during a media session. "Football is what got me here and the movie, it wasn’t me. I always knew how to play football growing up. It was different personalities, stuff like that. Playing football is what got me to this point.”
According to Yahoo, as much as the linebacker is unhappy with the movie, he acquiesced when Ravens coach John Harbaugh asked to show a clip to the team as a motivational tool.
"They joke about it, jokes here and there,'' Oher told SI.com's Don Banks. "It's all fun. I knew they were going to enjoy it and have fun with it. It's crazy because when it first came out, nobody said one word about it. I don't know if they didn't know what I was going to say or think. But now these last couple of years they actually joke around and kid around about it a lot.''
One thing is certain: Fans of “The Blind Side” won’t be seeing Oher on the silver screen any time soon.
"I'm not in the movies, man. I play football,'' Yahoo quoted Oher, "I work hard on the field. That's why I don't like talking about [the movie], because it kind of takes away from my hard work on the field. I kind of feel a little bit underappreciated, but as long as my team and the guys in the locker room know what I bring to the table, it's all good.''
The Baltimore Ravens will be facing the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
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