By Kevin York
I like the Ray Lewis story that’s evolved during this NFL post season. Right before the playoffs started, he announced this is his last season. It’s served as quite the motivator for his team. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a player whose presence on the field has done more to motivate and inspire his team.
“I have to make this catch. For Ray.”
“I need to knock down this pass. For Ray.”
You see it all up and down the Ravens roster. These guys really, really want to win for Lewis. Either that or they’re scared of the wrath of Ray after a loss. Either way, they don’t want to let him down. His teammates want to give him one more run, one more Super Bowl appearance, maybe even one more ring.
Lewis is one of, if not the best, linebacker to ever play the game. He’s a definite first ballot of famer, but people tend to forget the issues he’s had with the law. Prepare yourself, this is kind of a touchy subject. Or at least I think it must be given the silence arounf it. No one ever talks about his obstruction of justice conviction and involvement in a murder charge (you like that old school SI article I just linked to?). But why don’t we talk about it? When we talk about Mike Vick, dogs come up. When we talk about Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens or now Lance Armstrong, steroids come up. Pete Rose? Gambling. When we talk about Plaxico Burress…wait, do people actually talk about Plaxico Burress?…whatever…we talk about an idiot that shot himself.
What I’m saying is that in most cases, when a pro athlete has become involved in, or sometimes even just accused of, something criminal (or in the case of Rose, something millions and millions of people do legally every day in Vegas), they become tied to that incident. Not quite synonymous, but it’s definitely part of their story that’s frequently brought up. We don’t we do that with Lewis though. Seems kind of like a double standard, doesn’t it? Because of his positive affect on the Ravens franchise, the city of Baltimore and the game of football, I think the media and fans have given him a pass on bringing it up when discussing him. They give him a Ray-Ray. That’s right, I just coined a new term. Give it time, you’ll hear it in real life.
“But daaaad, Jake’s curfew was 11 when he was 16, why is mine 10? Why are you pulling a Ray-Ray?”
I’ll leave you with this Ray Lewis video. To be honest, the whole reason I wrote this post was just so I could link to this video. Enjoy. And you’re welcome. Instant classic.
Ray Lewis’ Ray of Light by TV Funhouse (sorry I didn’t embed the video…we encountered some technical difficulties with it)