Tuesday, 28 August 2012
REVIEW: MICHAEL OHER-I BEAT THE ODDS: FROM HOMELESSNESS TO THE BLIND SIDE
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
The story of NFL star and Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher is one real, genuine account that is even more inspirational than the influential book "The Blind Side" by big-hitting "Moneyball: writer Michael Lewis and the incredible film of the same name that garnered leading lady Sandra Bullock more Academy certification. With all due respect to the Oscar-worthy performance from Quinton Aaron and the book that started the reels of the motion picture, nothing compares to the words from the horse's mouth and the one who really and truly inspired all this interest.
The man himself, Big Mike, towers above it all with his own penmanship on 'I Beat The Odds.' His autobiography with Don Yaeger truly blindsides you, with true grit, realness and iconic inspiration. You couldn't script it any better, with all due respect. This bold, brave and beautiful book takes us from the unfathomable (to those lucky ones) perils of homelessness to the pure joy of what dreams are made of being drafted into the NFL and the star turns that now come with the unselfish and non-complacent individual Michael is.
The path from one extreme to another is a hard-worked and inspiring journey of family and education, and like students of Ole Miss or members of Mike's family, it's something we can all be incredibly proud of beyond the words. It's something we can all learn from and relate to as well, and most importantly, this read serves as a novel way to inspire us all. No matter who we are, or what we've been through, no matter what culture, country or creed we belong to, whether we've shared this man's experiences or not, we can all take something from his struggles and successes.
From sharing the stories of those touched to touching on the specific organizations and prescribed routes that can help, Oher doesn't just paint a picture of his life, he also illustrates the ways one can improve, be the best they can be and therefore beat the odds too. From reaching out to those who have nothing to putting his foot down on how rich superstars should look after their money, this book accounts for everyone. Furthermore, this writing is right up there on the shelf with the most inspiring autobiographies—up there with President Barack Obama's greatest prose and a champion among other sensational sports-star reads.
What separated this book from the rest is its realness. This genuine spirit doesn't mince words, whether it be in admitting his own shortcomings to the troubles and turmoil created from others letting him down. Still giving credit where credit's due, all praise is given to those who truly helped, and all motivation and encouragement is given to those who need a real role model in their life—and what a perfect one Michael Oher is.
Far from the almost "dumb" perceived kid he was unfairly portrayed as in the otherwise perfect vision of The Blind Side movie, Michael—with artistic integrity—fields the right story, running back through all the life changing moments of his young life, from the highs to the lows. Quarterbacking an insightful and indispensable run of pages, this really is one paper-turner that will become a fast learner for anyone willing to give it the time. From the reality of this smart guy's vision, it's no wonder he achieved his dreams.
From the hunger to the big games, Michael Oher has made it, and looking back and lending a hand to anyone who picks up his story, he shows how we all can, too. May the odds always be with him.