Late For Work 2/24: Oher Guest Stars on Extreme Makeover

Plus there’s no room for Westbrook or L.T. in the AFC North and ESPN gets punked.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 at 8:49 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Oher Guest Stars On ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’

Ravens tackle Michael Oher was a surprise celebrity guest on the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” as crews began building a home for Greenville High football coach Jeremy Williams, who has the terminal illness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Williams, 38, also has a 6-year-old son, Jacob, who requires a wheel chair because he was born with spina bifida, an incomplete development of the spinal cord.  The family’s home was not conducive for a family with physical disabilities. The home had a cracked and sinking foundation and mold-infected walls, according to a statement released Sunday by the ABC television show.

Oher, accompanied by his mother and little brother, spoke to a crowd of Williams’ friends, family, and members of the school’s football team after the crew officially announced that the deteriorating home would be replaced.

“(Oher) was there for the presentation on Sunday, and said some really nice things to Jeremy,” Carol Lane, Meriwether County’s Superintendent of Schools, told the Journal. “I can’t reveal anything that was said between the two, because the TV people want to keep everything ‘hush hush’ until it is shown on TV.”

Oher can identify with Williams’ situation in that he was also the beneficiary of helping hands that literally changed his life.

Oher grew up as one of 12 children from a broken home in Memphis that lived in poverty.  As a teenager, he was taken in by the Tuohy family, who eventually adopted him into their privileged household. His remarkable journey from the streets to the NFL was chronicled by The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis and became an award-winning blockbuster film in 2009.

The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team, will build Williams’ energy-efficient home this week and are scheduled to reveal it Saturday. ABC has not yet announced when the episode will air on TV.

No room for LT or Westbrook in AFC North?

Do not expect former San Diego Chargers tailback LaDainian Tomlinson to fit within the Ravens’ plans for next season, or any other AFC North team’s, opines ESPN’s James Walker.

Walker says there simply is no room for the future Hall of Famer. I would imagine the same would go for recently released Eagles running back Brian Westbrook. Both players are two of the most prolific running backs in recent NFL history.

“Currently the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have 1,000-yard rushers on their rosters,” Walker said. “That means Tomlinson, whose skills are on the decline, would be nothing more than an overpriced backup for any of these aforementioned teams.”

While Tomlinson will likely seek starter-type money in free agency with a team that will contend for the Super Bowl, it is unknown what Westbrook’s plans are.

Clark Judge of CBS Sports believes the nine-year veteran, who suffered through two concussions in three weeks last season, should walk away from the game.

“Brian Westbrook doesn’t need another team or 200 more carries or one more playoff appearance to validate him,” Judge said. “Nope, he needs time away from football — as in a long time away from football — to get his head together and figure out what’s best for him.

“My guess is that he already knows, and if he doesn’t I’m here to help with a suggestion: Go home, Brian. And stay there.”

ESPN Gets Punked

Speaking of Westbrook…

ESPN thought they had the former Eagles running back on the phone to discuss his release and future plans. Instead, a Westbrook impersonator got on the phone for the interview with Scott Van Pelt.

The exchange went nowhere, fast. What about Howard Stern’s prostate? Huh?

For the first time, Van Pelt was speechless and uncertain of how to continue. Who’s screening these calls?

Quick Hits

  • “What’s is [sic] the likelihood that Baltimore will sign a legit #1 receiver? … 50-50. I guarantee you this: They’ll try,” tweeted Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.
  • “I am really looking forward to the opportunity to work with my former college coach,” Suggs said of newly hired Ravens Outside Linebackers Coach Ted Monachino in a statement. “Coach Monachino challenged me to be the best I could be every practice, every game and every day. He is a perfectionist who will get the best out of all of us. I am really excited to work with him again.”
  • San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson plead guilty to his second drunken-driving offense and will receive four days in a work-release program and an NFL suspension, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • The NFL wants to begin blood testing for human growth hormone, but the players association is resisting, The Washington Post reports.

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