Panthers Training Camp With Michael ‘Blind Side’ Oher

SPARTANBURG, SC — We are 10 days away from the Panthers’ first preseason game.  You can see Carolina take on Buffalo right here on WCCB Charlotte, your official television home of the Panthers.

One of the Panthers’ biggest off-season signings was Michael Oher.  His story, documented in the movie The Blind Side.  As WCCB Charlotte’s Jeff Zell shows us, the fallout and jokes from that mega hit still haunt Oher.

The bright lights of Hollywood… not for Michael Oher.

“When we’re being noticed, it’s not a good thing,” he says.

Oher doesn’t look different from his fellow linemen.  But Big 73 has big time name recognition.  When most casual fans hear the name Michael Oher, they instantly think of the blockbuster movie, The Blind Side.  And, yes, you guessed it… that “Blind Side” nick name has caught on in the locker room.

“Mike is not a huge fan of the movie.  That was a mistake to tell me that.  I constantly remind him about that.  And especially when you tell him the actor looks like him.  He really appreciates that,” says center Ryan Khalil.

“I get all kinds of stuff in the locker room,” adds Oher.

But the reality of the 2009, $300 million box office bonanza: it raised awareness for adoption and provided inspiration for the next generation.

“Coming from poverty of the inner city where I come from, so many people look up to me,” says Oher.  “If I could do it, they could do it.  I’m happy about that and proud of that part of it.”

In Oher’s first season as a Panther, “The Blind Side” is looking to open eyes.  Mike says he’s eager to prove last year’s lackluster stop in Tennessee was a fluke.

“Get better as a football player in training camp,” he says.  “That’s all I’m focused on right now.”