The football star made famous in the hit film The Blind Side reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth.
An offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, Michael Oher is the young man at the center of the true story depicted in the award-winning book and movie The Blind Side. Though the odds were heavily stacked against him, Michael had a burning desire deep within his soul to break out of the Memphis inner-city ghetto and into a world of opportunity. While many people are now familiar with Oher’s amazing journey, he has been largely silent about his life leading up to his success – until now. I Beat the Odds is Michael’s first account of his own story, revealing his darkest memories, thoughts, and feelings with details that only he knows, and offering his point of view on how anyone can achieve a better life.
Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael shares the goals he had for himself in order to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family for so long. He recounts poignant stories of growing up in the projects and running from child services and foster care over and over again in search of some familiarity. Eventually, he grasped on to football as his ticket out of the madness and worked hard to make his dream into a reality.
But Oher also knew he would not be successful alone. Forever thankful to his adoptive family, the Touhys, and other influential people in his life, he describes that absolute necessity of seeking out positive role models and good friends who share the same values to achieve one’s dreams. At times harrowing, but ultimately uplifting, I Beat the Odds is a lesson on what can happen when you have the passion, grit, and determination to live up to your potential.