Michael Oher, Impoverished Childhood to Super Bowl Champion

Michael Jerome Williams Junior otherwise known as Michael Oher overcame incredulous hardship to win a Super Bowl for the Baltimore Ravens (a professional American football team) on 3rd February 2013. Michael’s early childhood was by all accounts riddled with impoverishments. He struggled in school and consequently repeated grades one and two, he was often homeless and yet despite the unbelieving struggles managed to overcome his adversity to become a star player for the Baltimore Ravens.

The Early Years

Michael Jerome Williams Junior was born on 28th May 1986 to parents Michael Jerome William Senior and Denise Oher. He was one of twelve children born to Denise. Both parents provided little or no support with Michael’s father frequently in and out of prison; Denise was both an alcoholic and addicted to crack cocaine. As a result Michael Oher often found himself in and out of foster homes and on numerous occasions homeless. Due to the disruption of his home life, Michael struggled in school; for the first nine years of his life, he attended eleven different schools and repeated grades one and two. Then when Michael was in high school, his father was murdered by his uncle, his mother’s brother who was in the same prison cell as Michael Jerome Williams Senior.

The Turning Point

Michael’s life eventually turned around when he was sixteen years old and welcomed by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy into their family. When Michael was seventeen the Tuohy’s decided to officially adopt him and became his legal guardians. Michael attended the Briarcrest Christian School, the same school the Tuohy’s children attended. In junior school Michael played basketball and track but excelled in football and his playing skills paid off as he became one of the top players in the state of Tennessee. As a stand out player with speed, size and agility many division one football teams offered him scholarships and Michael eventually accepted a scholarship from the University of Mississippi, having turned down offers from Tennessee, North Carolina (NC) State and Alabama. Michael played eleven games with Mississippi and in the 2009 National Football League (NFL) drafts was selected 23rd by the Baltimore Ravens. Michael helped the Baltimore Ravens reach the playoffs in his first season of playing and in the 2012 – 2013 season helped the team reach the Super Bowl. The game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ners was a tight finish, with the Baltimore Ravens sneaking the triumphant win with 34 points against the 49ner’s 31 points. During the postgame interview for ABC News, Michael told the reporter,

“I came so far from nothing to a Super Bowl Championship. I’m in shock right now.”

Michael’s life was an amazing turnaround of struggle and accomplishment that his story inspired Michael Lewis to write the book, ‘The Blind Side – Evolution of a Game. Hollywood then produced the movie, ‘The Blind Side’ starring Sandra Bullock with Sandra winning an academy award in 2010 for Best Supporting Actress for her performance of Leigh Anne Tuohy. The movie was a box office sensation raking in $300USD worldwide.

Michael Oher is an exceptional and renowned player in American Football. He has won many awards throughout his career. His life may have started rocky but opportunities and the right decisions paved the road to an extraordinary life.

“It’s true that we can’t help the circumstances we’re born into and some of us start out in a much tougher place than other people. But just because we started there, doesn’t mean we have to end there.” Michael Oher