Monday, April 27, 2009

Hometown Boy Makes Good

I first heard about this brother during a NPR broadcast of “All Things Considered.” Since Michael Oher is from Memphis, my hometown, it caught my attention. It’s a story with a simply horrible beginning but seemingly ends well.

It seems that Oher, one of thirteen children, was headed for a broken life. His father was murdered and his mother a crackhead. As a teenager, he was caught in the revolving door of the foster care system, and for all intents and purposes, he was raising himself in the streets of Memphis.

However, he came to the attention of a suburban family who took him in, saw to it that his immediate needs were met, and made sure he got a good education. Eventually they adopted him.

During high school he tried out for the football team and turned out to be an absolute beast on the gridiron. He went on to graduate from high school and attend Ole Miss where he was a four year starter on the Rebel football team, and in his senior year, Oher earned All SEC and All American honors. And to top it all off, Saturday the 6’6”, 310 pound Oher was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the NFL draft with the 23rd pick. His future looks bright indeed.

I feel a special kinship with Oher because I onced walked the same streets he did. Though my story is not nearly as rough, I knew a lot of Michael Ohers who did not make it out. I know what the end of his story could have been. So, Michael Oher, I salute you and hope you only the very best.


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