The Daily Gamecock

Collins Tuohy speaks in Russell House Ballroom

Sister of professional football player speaks on family, movie

Collins Tuohy, whose family was the subject of the 2009 movie "The Blind Side," started her Thursday night address in the Russell House Ballroom with very little

in terms of an opening, and she instead decided to greet the audience as if she was being introduced to them. No anecdote or opening line — Tuohy instead said that it was "nice to be at an SEC school."

Continuing the conversationalist standard that she'd previously set, Tuohy made a few jokes about her mother and the character that she can be. She then mentioned that she gets tired of two questions: "How did all of this happen?" and "How different was real life from the movie?"

Tuohy is the real-life sister of NFL player Michael Oher, and she tours colleges and cities to tell her version of her family's now-famous story. Though it was not heavily featured in the film, Tuohy discussed the relationship she shared with Oher. She said they were inseparable through high school and college and that they had "separation anxiety" as they eventually went their separate ways post-graduation.

Tuohy began the night addressing the first question she claimed to be tired of answering. Her father, Sean, went to high school with Michael Lewis, author of

"The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game." Lewis and Sean Tuohy were best friends, and Lewis decided to have dinner at the Tuohy's house while he was in the area on business for The New York Times. After multiple entrances and exits by Oher,
Lewis eventually expressed his bewilderment about the "enormous black kid that keeps coming and going."

After hearing Oher's story, Lewis eventually wrote a piece for The New York Times, which became a book and then a major motion picture that landed Sandra Bullock her first Oscar.

After giving the audience a very detailed recounting of how "The Blind Side" was made, Tuohy began to tell anecdotes about her brother and mother, and then she proceeded to convey her final message. She began to talk about how Oher used to walk on a wealthy street every day and was never noticed. She said that every day people walk past others who they place no value on and give no second thought to. She urged the audience to look at Oher's accomplishments and realize that there are so many people overlooked who have just as much to offer as he did.

Tuohy said that interacting with Oher was like "giving a gift on Christmas" and that every day with him was Christmas.

Tuohy told the audience members that this principle didn't just have to apply to her family and that the next time they overlook others, they should stop and get to know them, and give them that feeling of Christmas.



Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions