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Believe it or not, there's a bit of an Oscar angle to today's big game. This year's Super Bowl pits the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens, and on the offensive line of the latter, defending Joe Flacco's blind side throughout the game, will be Michael Oher, subject of the 2009 Oscar-winning film "The Blind Side."
The film came on strong at the end of the year that season, crossing $250 million at the domestic box office and landing a surprising Best Picture nomination in the first year that allowed 10 nominees. It also quickly became Sandra Bullock's victory march as the actress charged on through Oscar night to the Best Actress prize for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, the Memphis socialite who took Oher in when he had nowhere to turn.
The Tuohys, of course, will be attending the big game in New Orleans this year. Not only that, but Bullock, who has kept in touch with the family ever since her experience working on the film, will be there as well, rooting for the purple and black.
“She’s a great advocate of doing the right thing. She’s a big giver,” Tuohy said of Bullock in a recent Associated Press story. “She follows Michael's career every step of the way. It’s funny. I’ll get texts during the game: 'Why did they do this? They shouldn’t have done that.”‘
For his part, Oher is fatigued with discussing his connection to the book and film. "I'm tired of the movie," he said. "I'm here to play football."
So how does Super Bowl week compare to Oscar night? According to Tuohy, it doesn't. "This is way more fun, more exciting, more hyped up than Oscar week. Way more. It can’t even compare.”
Inspired by response to “The Blind Side” four years ago, the Tuohys set up the Making it Happen Foundation, which offers financial help to those committed to improving the lives of children living in poverty and unstable homes. As Tuohy puts it in the AP piece, "To me, when I look at Michael, the only down side of it is, you sit there and go, 'If someone as immensely talented as Michael Oher, that society pretty much didn’t value, almost falls through the cracks, can you imagine who gets left behind? How many kids are out there that if given a chance can be a Michael Oher?"
If you're interested in donating, check out the foundation's official site here.
And by the way. Go Ravens.