tv The Communicators CSPAN November 14, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
welcome back to this incredible story -- a kid, teenager in tennessee, living off the streets. but against all odds, he goes from being homeless, he's taken in by a well-to-do family, now he is an nfl star. his life a powerful message. i'm talking about the life of michael oher. i had the honor to speak with him in my exclusive interview. but first let's play a clip from the movie inspired by his life. it's warner brothers' new film "the blind side." >> he goes to high school here. >> what is he wearing? it's below freezing. do you have any place to stay
tonight? don't you dare lie to me. was this a bad idea? >> what's the big deal? it's just for one night. it is just for one night, right? >> tell me just one thing i should know about you. >> i don't like to be called big mike. >> leah, is this another one of your charities? >> i need to find out more about his past. he's been enrolled in seven different institutions. his grade point average begins with zero. >> he needs to do better in school. >> i'd love to work with him. >> this mine? >> yes, sir. >> never had one before. >> what, a room to yourself? >> a bed. >> what a story. i have the honor now to talk with michael oher, offensive tackle, baltimore ravens. michael, thanks for joining us. it is a true pleasure to talk to you and talk to you about your inspiring story. you know, as we talk, yeah, football fans know your story. but now with the book, movie coming out, everybody's going to know your story. do you ever stop and just think, you know, from not long ago,
homeless michael oher to football star michael oher and a movie made about your life. can you believe this is all come to pass? >> it's unbelievable. you know, i came a long way, you know. it's been a tough road and to do something i love, something i have a passion for, it's unbelievable to be able to step on the field and pad up in the nfl. i think about it every day. >> we look at your story and we look back. do you have memories -- we laid it out there that you never knew your father. he was murdered. your biological mom, drug issues. do you have early memories being with your brothers, being homeless and that fight for really survival at an early age? >> of course, you know, i have a lot of memories of all kinds, but i chose to forget all those, all the bad memories, not
having, you know, anything to eat or struggling here and there, but you got to move on and, you know, if i would have dwelt on the past i don't think i would have made it this far. you've got to put everything behind and trust in the people who want to help you and do things for you. you know, i think that's what got me here, you know, forgetting about the past and just making it into a positive and moving forward. you know, just working hard every day. >> michael, that's one of the many things i love about your story is you talk and there always seemed to be hope with you. even the pictures i've seen of you as a child, there's a smile on your face even though you're going through what you're going through. how did you keep hope alive? >> i've always wanted to make it to the nfl, you know, just be something in life. i always figured there was a
better way of life and a better way to do things and i've always strived to be the best that i can be. i always wanted to go to school and do all -- i went to school on my own and did a lot of things on my own so i always knew that if i worked hard and did everything that i possibly can do, i'd make it. i'd be something. >> was there ever a point where your life and your struggles were getting to you? i mean, i'm reading stories about how birthdays weren't celebrated, christmas was waking up christmas morning watching other kids in the neighborhood play with their toys. did you ever -- did it ever get to you, michael? >> oh, yeah. i mean, because, you know, you ask yourself a lot of the times you're growing up, why does it have to be this way for you? but you take all this stuff like i said and make it into a positive. you work hard and you try to
better yourself and better your surroundings and you tend to want more in life. you take all that type stuff and you make it into a positive and keep going. >> you've done that. your team mates describe you as a great player, passionate, intense, but also another player just flat out said, michael's a joy to be around. >> who said that? >> matt burr, and that's a veteran guy watching you as a player and a man whichlt one do you take more pride in? >> i have to take it in both. i work hard on the field and, you know, all my team mates, we have a great group of guys. you know, i love being around them. i love being a part of an nfl organization and being around a guy like matt birk who, you know, just to be around those type guys, guys like ray lewis, guys i grew up watching and
knowing that i've always been a big fan of this game. i can't wait until september comes around, you know, hear that sound and all that type stuff. it's unbelievable. >> your story is unbelievable. when we come back we'll talk with michael more and talk more with michael about the family he mentioned, the touhy family who stepped up and helped him out and gave him just that push to get him over the hump. now again he is an nfl star and there's a move bit his life.
michael's grades have improved enough that he can go out for spring football in march. >> this team is your family, michael. when you look at him you think of me. how you have my back. are you going to protect the family, michael? >> yes, ma'am. >> s.j., you're going to want to get this. >> who's the big guy eating with your little brother? >> his big brother. >> i think what you're doing is so great. >> sandra bullock. >> you're changing that boy's life. >> no, he's changing mine.
>> powerful statement there. that again from the new movie "the blind side" the story of michael oher's life and it's my honor and privilege to talk with michael, offensive tackle baltimore ravens. michael as we hear that and we hear sandra bullock playing the part of your mom leann touhy but leann touhy said that in interviews how you're more of a blessing to them than they were to you. how does that make you feel? >> words can't even describe it. that means a lot to me knowing that what they did for me and the amount of love that i have for them. and, you know, for them to bring me in their home and just for me knowing right off the bat that they care about me as a person and, you know, they want the best for me. >> wow. let's listen. not to sandra bullock but to leann touhy talking about you being part of their family. >> there was just never really a defining moment that we said that we were going to take this young man in.
he was there. we were there. he had needs. we had potential to fill them. we'll tell stories that happened before we had michael and he'll throw in and i go you weren't even here, you know, but he thinks he's always been there and we think he's always been there. we don't really know life without michael anymore. i know that's hard for people to understand but it's just, you know, that's just how it is. so there really was not a defining moment. it just kind of happened and it was a great thing that happened to us and he blessed us far more than we'll, you know, probably could have ever blessed him. >> michael, did you think it would last? did you think from that meeting you would become a member of the touhy family? >> oh, definitely, because it's a feeling you get. i got that feeling right away. you know, collins and shawn jr., they just welcomed me with open arms. it wasn't a problem, you know, somebody coming into their home. they just took me in like i was part of the family.
and that's what i love about them and they did everything i asked them to do and more. so without them i wouldn't be here today. >> collins being your sister, shawn jr. your brother. >> yes. collins is the best by the way. she's unbelievable. >> you sound like you guys are really close. >> oh, yeah. watched over her for four years in college and whatever she needed, you know, from me i'd do for her and the same with her. she's there as well. and just without them, you know, i don't know. >> as i see you and you're talking, there's a love that's exuding from you and as the story goes, leigh anne told you that she loved you when you were 18. was that the first time you heard that? what did it do to you? >> it just, you know, it showed
me that it was possible to be loved. i never heard that before. you know, just for her to express that and i knew then that i was a part of the family and, you know, that i was going to stick around. >> again, you're welcomed into the family. you hear "i love you." as you take this and you're going to be a father some day, what kind of dad are you going to be? i bet the words "i love you" will be coming out nonstop from you. >> you know, i'm definitely going to teach my kids everything that i wasn't taught. i'm going to show them that it's better to give than receive because people gave me a second chance and, you know, i'll raise them the right way and give them everything i couldn't have and just take great care of them. not let them out of my sight. >> that's good. all dads should hear that.
michael, how special was it on draft day when the touhy family -- you guys were all together, one big family -- as you're drafted by the baltimore ravens, how special was that? >> that was a big day. the day i'd been waiting for, you know, forever. and it finally came true and it was unbelievable. i just couldn't believe my name was called in the nfl draft. all my hard work had paid off and just to be on the team and, you know, whatever happens after that, you know, i did everything i could to get to this level. so it was unbelievable. >> we're all just reveling in this as we see the pictures of you with the touhy family and you all are celebrating. do you realize how big this story is in the sense of the inspiration that it has become not only to football fans but to a watching world that a family took you in? you were persevering through a
rough childhood, and now we have this story of victory. has that part soaked in for you, michael? >> a little bit but, you know, the thing that people can take from this is if you reach out and lend a hand, you know, i know so many people that have more talent than i have that didn't get that opportunity that i got. and if they were to get that opportunity, you know, there would be more people in the nfl, in the nba with so many other skills and just doing other things, doctors, lawyers, anything. but they didn't have somebody to show them that there was another side to life. >> michael, very well put. i'm sure as people hear your story, see this movie, that they might be more willing to reach out and make that difference for somebody else. michael oher, a pleasure. continued success with your football career and with life. thanks again. >> thank you.
welcome back. carrie prejean former miss california usa front and center once again. here is the tight rope act she's trying to walk. she's on a media tour trying to promote her new book yet there is this sex tape out there. there will be questions about that. sure enough cnn's larry king asked about that sex tape and also why she settled with the pageant. things got a little awkward. let's watch. >> in mediation it was discussed why you were mediating. >> larry, it's completely
confidential and you're being inappropriate. >> okay. >> okay? >> inappropriate king live continues. >> yes. >> detroit, hello. >> caller: hi. i'm calling from detroit. >> yes. >> caller: i am a gay man an love pageants. i'm sure you, carrie, have got great gay friends that helped you possibly win. what would you give them as advice if they wanted to get married? >> did you hear the question, carrie? did she hear the question? >> all right. want to point out that she did continue the show and larry king apologized later because the show had agreed that she would not answer any viewer phone calls. regardless, though, i don't think this is what you want when you're out promoting a book. that was awkward, not fun to watch. we'll take your calls on this. 1-877-tell-hln. joining us to talk about it, rachel campos duffy blogger and author of the book "stay home stay happy." also joining us the host of
celeb tv.com. all right, rachel. first off, how do you sell this book still standing? that's a tight rope act. you're trying to sell a book still standing and that's how td that's how conservative women are being attacked and yet you're answering questions about the sex tape? your thoughts. >> first of all, that moment was very awkward on larry king. i've seen people walk off the set, but never take their microphone off and stay on the set. it's kind of not fair just because she's a christian and the sex tape came up, it's sort of like people say she's a hypocrite. as far as i know, the only requirkt for being a christian is being a sinner. these sex tapes, these pictures,
they come back and haunt you. don't do it. i think it could be a positive message. i think it remains to be seen if she stays on message and doesn't do so many weird interviews. >> i agree on that front. there's no one perfect and she even states that, but i just -- the timing is off. i don't think she's being handled correctly. you put the book to her on hold and deal with this sex tape controversy because the message of the book is lost. your thoughts, rachel. >> it could be -- that's true, but then again, i mean, probably a bigger message that she can give is this to young girls. in the middle of the book tour might be a good time to do it. >> do you think she's being handled well -- >> yeah, but both sarah palin