‘The Blind Side’; better sports movie than ‘Remember the Titans’

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by Maggie Caldwell As my family piled into our Suburban and headed to the Kokomo movie theater over Thanksgiving break, I automatically expected the movie to be lame and that I would have to fake my enthusiasm to appease my dad. Lucky for me, “The Blind Side” did not make me doze off. In fact, this flick not only kept my attention, but it stirred emotion in nearly every person present. The movie begins with Michael Oher, a 6’5”, 310 lb; over-sized teddy bear. He is brought to Wingate Christian High School by the guy whose couch he currently sleeps on, hoping to be accepted. Because of his athletic build, he is accepted. But Oher sticks out like a sore thumb. The school is filled with the elite whites of Tennessee, and he is a big, African-American boy with a past and nearly no GPA to speak of. Given the nickname “Big Mike,” he walks around with a grocery sack containing an extra shirt, and no place to call home. As Leigh Anne Touhy, played by Sandra Bullock, and her family drive home one November night, they see “Big Mike” walking along the side of the road. Feisty Leigh Ann demands her husband Sean, played by Tim McGraw, to pull over. She gets out of the vehicle, approaches Michael and demands to know why he is wandering. To make a long story short, Michael ends up taking a “temporary” residence in the mansion. This intro sets the stage for a timeless tale of family, generosity and athletic dreams. Michael, a boy who had never had a bed of his own, becomes part of the Touhy family. He gains a home, but he also gains parents, a younger brother and a sister of the same age. What is the best part of this movie? It is a true story. The now All-American Michael Oher, son of a crack addict, started out on the streets at 15. But because of the Touhy family’s adoption, his athleticism was cultivated and he is now a potential Rookie of the Year playing for the Baltimore Ravens in the National Football League. By the time the last credit rolled, I knew my rankings of sports movies had been flipped. “Remember the Titans,” ranked number one, had been easily replaced by “The Blind Side.”And, if it were up to me, Sandra Bullock will receive an Oscar for her role in this classic.
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