There’s no doubt that Michael Oher has helped give the Carolina Panthers one heck of a season — in fact he’ll be leading his team to Super Bowl 50 come Feb. 7. But there’s much more to this talented athlete than just football. In fact, his life is so fascinating a movie was made out of it!
Michael Oher, 29, is well know because of his Blind Side fame, but the Carolina Panthers offensive tackle is making defenses want to forget him. Giving up a career-low four sacks — tied for eighth-fewest in the league — he is having the most insane season of his career. Before tuning in to the Feb. 7 Super Bowl, get to know more about Michael right here!
1. This is not Michael’s first rodeo at the Super Bowl.
Not only did Michael play in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, but his Baltimore Ravens team won it! The big game was between the Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, but the Ravens ended up prevailing 34-31. Michael played for the Ravens for five years starting in 2009 as a right tackle, but in 2014 he signed with the Tennessee Titans. However, he only played for the Titans for one year before becoming a Carolina Panther.
2. Cam Newton is the reason Michael signed with Carolina.
The ultra-talented QB for the Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton, convinced Michael that the Panthers “needed” him, which is ultimately what made Michael decide to join Cam’s team. The quarterback actually sent Michael a text that read, “I need you. I don’t want you, I need you.’’ Pretty powerful words! It proved to be a pretty special moment for Michael who couldn’t refuse the offer. “He’s telling me he needs me?” Michael said to the New York Post for a February 2016 article. “It made my decision a lot easier to come to Carolina.’’
3. Michael’s Carolina $7 million contract was ill-advised at the time of his signing.
When the Carolina Panther’s general manager, Dave Gettleman, signed Michael to a two-year, $7 million deal in March 2015, he received a lot of flak. “I got killed on that one,’’ Dave revealed. After all, Michael was cut from the Titans after only one season after he couldn’t perform. But in reality, Dave’s decision turned out to be brilliant. Michael was worth every penny of that contract after he played 98.4 percent of the offensive snaps, allowed a career-low four sacks, and was called for only three penalties all season.
4. Michael had a pretty tough childhood.
The Memphis, Tennessee native was one of 12 children born to Denise Oher. Unfortunately his mother was an alcoholic and a drug addict while his father, Michael Jerome Williams, was murdered in prison. Due to his upbringing, Michael received little attention and ended up repeating both first and second grades. He even attended 11 different schools during his first nine years as a student. By the time Michael was seven, he had to be placed in foster care. He alternated between living in various foster homes and even experienced periods of homelessness.
5. The Academy-Award-winning film, The Blind Side, is about Michael and his adoptive family.
Quinton Aaron played Michael in the 2009 movie while Sandra Bullock played Michael’s adoptive mother, Leigh Anne Touhy. The movie was nominated for Academy Awards for both Best Picture and Best Actress for Sandra, which she won. The Blind Side details Michael’s difficult childhood and how the Touhy family took him in as their own. To this day the Touhys support Michael unconditionally and are super pumped to see him play in the big game on Feb. 7.
Are you a fan of Michael, HollywoodLifers? Do you hope the Panthers win Super Bowl 50?