The Blind Side
by Laura Tucker
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Sandra Bullock’s character in The Blind Side starts off the movie by mentioning that like every housewife knows the first bill you pay is the mortgage, and the second is the insurance. That’s not how this housewife/mom connected, as I don’t pay the bills. But I definitely connected with the type of woman that Bullock’s character is.
That comment was made in reference to the positions in football, that the person who makes the most money is the quarterback, and the second is the person that protects him, the left tackle. How to play football has to be taught, but the instinct to protect the ones you care about is just a character trait. So is the desire to help the people, whether they start out being people you care about or not.
Michael “Big Mike” Oher is left to the foster care system by his crack-addicted mom, but he always runs away. By the time he is 17, he’s being allowed to sleep on the couch at his friend Steve’s house. Steve’s dad wants to get both boys enrolled at a Christian school, and uses Michael’s obvious size and supposed athelticism to support his reasons why they should be admitted. The educators at the school are reluctant after seeing Michael’s poor scores on aptitude tests, but go along with it anyway, as the coach convinces them it’s their “Christian duty.” Although Steve’s dad did Michael a great favor getting him admitted, he can no longer let him sleep on their couch, and Michael takes to the streets.
Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, and their kids S.J. and Collins, are driving home one night in the rain, and see Michael walking with no coat. Realizing he has no place to stay that night, Leigh Anne insists they take him home to let him sleep on their couch for that night. The more time progresses, the more they start to understand his situation. They ask him to stay for Thanksgiving dinner, then take him to buy him more clothes, and before long, set up a permament room for him in their home.
The Tuohys aren’t the first people to help Michael, but they’re the first ones to see him through. When he runs away, they go find him. They look into his situation to find out why he doesn’t have parents to stay with. They try to improve his grades so that he can be eligible to play sports to help him get a college scholarship. At the same time, some of his teachers are going the extra nine yards to find out that it isn’t that he’s not a smart person, but he has problems reading. If they read his tests aloud to him, he does much better at them. Although he’s quiet and doesn’t participate in class, he’s still listening to every single word. Only because of them all working together to help him is he allowed to join the football team to start realizing his true potential.
It’s an extraordinary story about ordinary people. There are kids like Michael that slip through the cracks every day and families that go out of their way to help others they don’t know. But this story led to great success, and the people went on to become extraordinary people. All because some people stuck their necks out and tried to make a difference.
The Blind Side will be released on DVD on Tuesday, March 23.
Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.
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