Beat the Odds: From Homelessness

I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond


The football star made famous in the hit film (and book) The Blind Side reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth. Michael Oher shares his personal account of his story, in this inspirational New York Times bestseller. Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks about the goals he had to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family. Eventually he grasped onto f…

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Which celebrity have you met, and were they as nice/rude as you expected?(r/AskReddit)

Here are a few, and my favorite brush with celebrity is at the bottom :

Mick Fleetwood — Very well spoken, friendly person. I was a reporter and interviewed him about a restaurant he was opening in Virginia.

Joan Rivers — In person, off stage, she’s a tiny lady, who is friendly, sweet and very personable. Reminded me of my mother.

B.B. King. — Gracious and friendly. After every one of his shows, he will meet every person who lines up and waits by his tour bus. He was very flirty with the women (I’m a dude).

Ok, here’s my favorite —

We adopted my son from foster care when he was nine. When he was five, he was taken from him parents, who were homeless, addicted the drugs, and all that goes with that.

Before we adopted him, he spent years bouncing from one crummy foster home to another.

When the movie, “The Blind Side” came out, it had a big emotional impact for my son, because in the movie, Oher was taken from his parents in a manner similar to what happened to my son.

Two years ago, in November, I wrote to the Ravens, told the story about Robbie, and asked if they could send me something signed and personalized from Oher to my son. I should mention that my son is one of the top distance runners in the state.

In time for Christmas, Oher’s book came in the mail, signed from Oher to my son.

The present meant more to him than the iphone we purchased for him.

Then, in March, I got a call from Oher’s agent.

The agent said that Michael was going to be in a nearby town, and Michael would like to meet Robbie. He was wondering if I could possibly bring my son to the signing event so that Michael could meet my son.

So I took him of course. As soon as we walked in, Michael saw my son and told him to wait in the back until the event was over. After about an hour of singing books, Michael had a long and personal conversation with my son. They talked about how my son can overcome challenges like college sports, how to handle his biological parents, and how to use his past as fuel.

We’re Ravens fans now. :).

Here’s a photo of my son with Michael Oher.

Edit — since so many people liked the story, here’s an album of my son.

Another edit–after reading all your messages, I was reminded of how awesome my son is, so I came home; gave him a hug, told him how lucky we are that he’s in our life. And he became very suspicious. Probably thinks I have cancer or something.

Last edit, I promise — here is a link to Oher’s autobiography, which is a great read. He fills in the blanks from “The Blind Side,” and does an amazing job of not just explaining his life, but also motivating the reader.

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Michael Oher

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I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond

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Which celebrity have you met, and were they as nice/rude as you expected?

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