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There are two great athletes in Blind Side

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By Larry Goffinet

The Blind Side, the story of current Baltimore Ravens left tackle Michael Oher and the wealthy family that rescued him from the street, is currently the No. 1 movie in America.

It certainly has a lot to attract viewers’ interest—an uplifting story and a great actress in Sandra Bullock playing Leigh Anne Tuohy, the woman who takes Oher in when she sees him on the street without a coat in winter weather.

But what I found most interesting about the story when I first heard it on NFL draft day last spring was it revealed what had happened to one of my all-time favorite college basketball players, Sean Tuohy, who is played in the movie by Tim McGraw.

In my college basketball season preview column Nov. 21, 1980, I wrote, “If you want a real dark-horse candidate for All-America honors, one of my favorite players is Sean Tuohy, Mississippi’s junior guard.

“He led the SEC in assists last year, hit about 85 percent of his free throws, and is a superb ball-handler who makes few turnovers.

“Not a big enough scorer to have gained All-America attention in the past, he may put it up more this year since teammate John Stroud graduated to the pros.”

Tuohy went on to set the SEC record for most career assists, which I believe still stands.

But he wasn’t considered tall enough or prolific enough as a scorer to make the NBA, so after he graduated from Ole Miss in 1982 I never heard of him again.

Until last spring.

Then I learned that he did make a lot of money playing basketball overseas and in the business world (he owns more than 70 fast-food franchises including Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s) and he is now in his ninth season as a broadcaster for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.

It’s nice to know that he has been successful in life even though he didn’t make it to the NBA.

As for McGraw, playing a former athlete shouldn’t be too foreign to him since his dad was also a former athlete, colorful relief pitcher Tug McGraw.

Tug McGraw coined the 1973 New York Mets’ slogan, “Ya Gotta Believe!” as they came from last place in the National League East in the second half of the season to win the pennant.

In 1980 when he signed what was then considered a big free-agent contract (I believe it was about $3 million for four years), he was asked what he planned to do with all the money.

He replied, “Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other 10 percent I’ll probably waste.”