"The Blind Side" star makes hometown stop on book-signing tour - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

"The Blind Side" star makes hometown stop on book-signing tour

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Football star Michael Oher made a stop in his hometown of Memphis Wednesday to sign copies of his memoir, "I Beat the Odds."

The NFL offensive tackle is the subject of the blockbuster film "The Blind Side" and is now a New York Times best-selling author.  "I Beat the Odds" shares a dark side to Oher's story with a fairy tale ending.

"Just getting tons of letters from people telling me how much they looked up to me," said Oher.  "How much of a role model I was.  That's really the only reason I wrote it."

The book meant Oher would have to revisit a past before he was adopted by the Touhy family.

"Get a box of Kleenex," said Oher's adoptive mother, Leigh Anne Touhy.  "You will have to have them to get through it."

Touhy said her son had to tell his story in his own time.

"What he has overcome and the obstacles that he has overcome, that was going to be pretty edgy and pretty raw," said Touhy.  "So it had to be when he was ready to tell it, and it's kind of his life before "The Blind Side."

Oher has yet to reconcile with his biological mother, Denise Oher.

Father Bruce Nieli of St. Patrick's Church has been ministering to Denise Oher, who still struggles with addiction.

"She actually wanted to come and ... she's been very proud of Michael, but many parties thought this would not be the right context," said Nieli.  "It's so public and so crowded."

For now, reconciliation is not in the plan.

Touhy said she would like to see Oher's book in middle schools and high schools.  She said it can be used as a teaching tool to let young people know you can overcome obstacles in life.

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