Carolina Panthers

'Blind Side' mom readies happy tears for Super Bowl Sunday

Posted February 4, 2016

It's been nearly seven years since Michael Oher's life story went silver screen, but the impact of "The Blind Side" still hits just as hard as a pancake by an oncoming defensive tackle.

"We see it every single day in spades," said Leigh Anne Tuohy.

The real-life version of the character played by Sandra Bullock still forwards all of those letters and emails from people moved by "The Blind Side" to those who were involved in the making of the movie. She wants to remind them that making a difference is more than possible.

"There are Michaels everywhere," Tuohy said, "and all they need is a chance. Just give them the least bit of opportunity, and they could be the next best teacher or the next best airplane pilot or the next best coach. All they need is a chance."

On Sunday, Oher has a chance at a second Super Bowl ring. He already has one as a member of the 2012 Baltimore Ravens.

Tuohy said she has become enamored with the Panthers' franchise because of their family atmosphere.

"Oh, I'm blinged out," she said, showing sparkly fingernails. "We are at the Super Bowl! I have got sparkly stuff from head-to-toe."

Tuohy's story may be well known, but she still gets choked up whenever she sees Oher running out of the tunnel.

"Oh, I cried on Sunday (at the NFC Championship Game versus Arizona)," she said. "He came through the smoke, and they said, 'Starting at left tackle, from Ole Miss, Michael Oher,' and I just started crying."

How hard will the water works be falling on Super Bowl Sunday?

"At first I thought, I can't sit through that game. I'll be a basket case," Tuohy said.

"But you know what, sometimes you've got to put your big boy pants on and do it. So, I'll have the Kleenex on-hand, and we'll just go out there, and if we do what we're supposed to do, and play our game like we're supposed to play it, I predict that the Panthers are going to be winners."

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