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What's Up Magazine

Baltimore Ravens' Michael Oher

Dec 27, 2012 07:57PM ● By Anonymous


Oher spent much of his childhood in foster homes. His birth father was murdered in prison and his mother’s life was hampered by drug addiction. Even though it’s a story that has tugged on the heart strings of millions of movie fans, it’s old news to Oher and he makes that clear in our one-on-one.

The movie was based on a New York Times best-seller, but Oher later wrote an autobiography. These days he wants to put all of that behind him and simply wants to be known as a really good football player. The former first round pick out of the University of Mississippi is now in his fourth year as a starter. His position, left tackle, is critical because he protects Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco’s blindside.

You have said you dislike several aspects of the book and the movie. Is this why you decided to write your own book?

I didn’t want to talk about it at all my first year because people didn’t understand watching one thing and reading another. I am a totally different person than what people read and watch.

Your locker is two away from Ray Lewis, whom some people consider the best linebacker of all time. Have you learned some things from him?

Who wouldn’t? He has so much knowledge; you have to seek him out. I check him out, talk to him, and get stuff from him. I have seen how he prepares and the passion he has for the game. You have to try and get all you can out of him.

You have been shifted from right tackle as a rookie to left, back to right, and now back to left this season. Would you like to stay at one position and stop all the juggling?

If I could play one position for my career, that would be great. I would really like to settle into one position for multiple years and maybe become a pretty good player. I am the type of player who wants to do everything the right way and have my technique down. To just go back and forth from one position to another is very difficult. But you have to do what you have to do. A lot of people can’t do it. There is an adjustment whenever you change positions.

You starred in basketball in high school, the ABA drafted your father, and your brother plays for Loyola College. How big a fan of the sport are you?

I am a really big basketball fan. Whenever the Boston Celtics are on TV, I watch them. I am a big Kevin Garnett fan. I grew up liking basketball. I just love the game. I talk to my brother all the time about basketball. He likes Loyola a lot. I can’t wait to get over there to watch him play.

How long did the loss to New England that kept the Ravens from going to the Super Bowl affect you? Is this year’s Ravens team good enough to get to the Super Bowl?

The loss stayed with me for a long time. It was a hard loss, but I had to get over it and move on. It’s a new year and a new season. We are trying to get to the top again. We have a lot of potential and a pretty good team. The guys have really put in the hard work. The sky is the limit for this team.

What do you do to relax after a game?

I just really like driving back home listening to soul music. I like listening to Lenny Williams and guys like that. It really allows me to relax. I am just thinking about the game and things like that.

What do you like to do in the offseason for fun?

I just like to relax. I may go on a trip here or there. I like to go somewhere sunny. I really like to go to Miami. It’s my favorite spot. I go down there every year. It’s a lot of fun.

What philanthropic causes do you believe in or devote your time to?

I like to do anything helping people in need or inner city kids and stuff like that. I try to do a lot of different stuff. I don’t do one particular thing. I do things all over.

The Ravens are known for keeping their stars. You will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2013 season. Would like to be a Raven for life?

I would like to play my entire career with the Ravens. That’s up to the organization. It’s always been a great organization and I grew up watching them. Being part of it, there are a lot blue-collar guys. You’ve got to love that we compete for a championship and bring in the right guys every year. We have great character guys everywhere.