Michael Oher’s adoptive parents and sister are perhaps the most famous family in the NFL, with their lives playing out through the popular movie The Blind Side.
Now, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy are once again in the spotlight as Michael Oher prepares for the Super Bowl as a member of the Carolina Panthers. The couple was seen on the field with Michael after the Panthers won the NFC Championship Game, and have been making their rounds in the Super Bowl media as well.
Leigh Anne did an interview with the Today show in the lead-up to Super Bowl 50, says she’s excited to see her adopted son in one of the biggest moments of his life.
“I’m going to put my bling jersey on and be the proudest, most obnoxious momma I can possibly be,” she said. “It has been an amazing journey. Literally not one part of it was anticipated.”
— WSOCTV (@wsoctv) February 6, 2016
The movie The Blind Side depicted Michael’s difficult upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee, with a drug-addicted mother and a father who had been murdered in prison. Oher was homeless at one point until he was taken in by the Tuohy family, a well-to-do white family.
With support from the Tuohys, Oher excelled at football and eventually got a scholarship to Ole Miss, where he was named an All-American left tackle. Michael Oher ended up being picked in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 5, 2016
Though he and the Tuohy family became famous thanks in large part to The Blind Side, Michael Oher isn’t a very big fan of the movie. Michael said his portrayal in the film ended up having a negative impact on his life and drumming up bad expectations of him.
“People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie,” he told ESPN‘s Outside the Lines. “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. This stuff, calling me a bust, people saying if I can play or not… that has nothing to do with football. It’s something else off the field. That’s why I don’t like that movie.”
Oher started 80 games for the Ravens through five seasons, winning a Super Bowl in 2012. But the team let him go in 2014 and he signed a five-year, $20 million deal with the Tennessee Titans. Battling injury and inconsistent play, Oher was released before this season and signed a new deal with the Carolina Panthers to protect Cam Newton’s blind side.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 2, 2016
Michael Oher has rebounded nicely this season, with the Carolina Panthers rating as the No. 2 offensive line in the league by Pro Football Focus. Though SB Nation noted that Oher was among the lowest-ranked linemen for run blocking, he excelled in pass blocking and helped pave the way for Cam Newton’s MVP-worthy performance. With the Denver Broncos likely to pressure Cam Newton in the Super Bowl, Oher will again be in the spotlight.
While Michael Oher has one big game left this season, his adopted family also has a big moment. With 115 million Americans tuning into the Super Bowl, the cameras will almost assuredly find the Tuohy family at some point.
[Picture by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]