Cover image for I beat the odds : from homelessness, to the blind side, and beyond
I beat the odds : from homelessness, to the blind side, and beyond
Publication Information:
New York : Gotham Books, c2011.
Physical Description:
xx, 250 p., [8] p. of plates : col. ill. ; 24 cm.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
The football star made famous in the hit film "The Blind Side" reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth. While many people are now familiar with Oher's amazing journey, this is the first time he shares his story in his own words.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 921 OHER 1 1

On Order



The football star made famous in the hit film The Blind Side reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth.

Michael Oher is the young man at the center of the true story depicted in The Blind Side movie (and book) that swept up awards and accolades. Though the odds were heavily stacked against him, Michael had a burning desire deep within his soul to break out of the Memphis inner-city ghetto and into a world of opportunity. While many people are now familiar with Oher's amazing journey, this is the first time he shares his account of his story in his own words, revealing his thoughts and feelings with details that only he knows, and offering his point of view on how anyone can achieve a better life.

Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks about the goals he had for himself in order to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family for so long. He recounts poignant stories growing up in the projects and running from child services and foster care over and over again in search of some familiarity. Eventually he grasped onto football as his ticket out of the madness and worked hard to make his dream into a reality. But Oher also knew he would not be successful alone. With his adoptive family, the Touhys, and other influential people in mind, he describes the absolute necessity of seeking out positive role models and good friends who share the same values to achieve one's dreams.

Sharing untold stories of heartache, determination, courage, and love, I Beat the Odds is an incredibly rousing tale of one young man's quest to achieve the American dream.

Author Notes

Don Yaeger was an Associate Editor at Sports Illustrated magazine. He is the co-author of Under the Tarnished Dome: How Notre Dame Betrayed Its Ideals for Football Glory, Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL, and George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History, and Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that shaped America's destiny.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Oher was the subject of Michael Lewis's The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and its subsequent and very successful movie. He is also in his adopted parents Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy's recent book, In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving, and, of course, he's on the football field for the Baltimore Ravens. His positive story has been a welcome respite from all the reported poor behavior by professional football players over the years. Now here is Oher's opportunity, with Yaeger (former associate editor, Sports Illustrated), to tell his side of the story, which is especially distinct from the movie, in which a lot of the real details were left out while other circumstances were exaggerated to make the story more dramatic. For example, in the movie Oher was a football novice with difficulty learning plays; in actuality, as Oher reminds us here, he had been playing for years and knew the game very well by the time he met the Touhys. Verdict Recommended. A corrective to the movie, yet still an inspirational book for fans of Oher and the Touhys. Also, a good read on the pervasive nature of poverty in urban areas and the role of sports in young people's lives.-Todd Spires, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Reaching Backp. ix
Chapter 1 Begging and Bumming: Life in Hurt Villagep. 1
Chapter 2 Life at Homep. 15
Chapter 3 The Day They Took Me Awayp. 27
Chapter 4 Life in the Systemp. 37
Chapter 5 Running Backp. 49
Chapter 6 Escape from St. Joseph'sp. 59
Chapter 7 ôHomeö Againp. 71
Chapter 8 MJ and Mep. 85
Chapter 9 Big Tony and Stevep. 95
Chapter 10 The Road to Briarcrestp. 107
Chapter 11 High Schoolp. 117
Chapter 12 Finding a Familyp. 131
Chapter 13 Finding Footballp. 145
Chapter 14 Miss Suep. 157
Chapter 15 Rebel with a Causep. 165
Chapter 16 The Draftp. 177
Chapter 17 On Raven's Wingsp. 187
Chapter 18 The Blind Sidep. 197
Chapter 19 A Different Kind of Fan Mailp. 207
Chapter 20 Breaking the Cyclep. 221
Chapter 21 Ways to Get Involvedp. 237
Acknowledgmentsp. 247