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Kolpack: 'Blind Side' bio-pic pulls off unthinkable

In the genre of sports movies, "The Blind Side" pulls off the unthinkable: a quality film based on the life of an offensive lineman. It couldn't have been easy considering that position doesn't lend itself to Hollywood endings - on the field, anyway.

In the genre of sports movies, "The Blind Side" pulls off the unthinkable: a quality film based on the life of an offensive lineman.

It couldn't have been easy considering that position doesn't lend itself to Hollywood endings - on the field, anyway. In this case, director John Lee Hancock limited the use of football field scenes and focused on the emotional attachment between Michael Oher and his adopted family: the Tuohys of Memphis, Tenn.

It's based on a true story that reportedly is very close to what actually happened. How often does that happen in Hollywood?

It is about a homeless teenager - Oher - who was taken in by a wealthy Memphis family, which helps turn a shy kid into a top college football recruit and ultimately a first-round draft choice of the Baltimore Ravens last spring.

The movie works because it tugs at the emotions, especially when Oher stares at a bed that Leigh Anne Tuohy had just bought for him and says it's the first bed he's ever had. It's the coming together of two different cultures.

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The movie didn't go off without some cheesy scenes. We could have done without college coaches like Lou Saban, Lou Holtz and Phillip Fulmer playing themselves. Actors would have been just fine and less distracting.

And it's doubtful Leigh Anne Tuohy interrupted football practice to tell the high school head coach how to coach Michael Oher.

There are classic sports movies out there like "Hoosiers," "Field of Dreams," "Miracle," "Rocky," and "Remember the Titans."

It's probably not in that class, but close enough to check it out.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546 or jkolpack@forumcomm.com

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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