What Ray Lewis has meant to the Baltimore Ravens franchise, city and his teammates can truly never be matched by any other player in NFL history, period.
I wrote about what Ray Lewis means to me a few weeks back. Here’s what I had to say.
This postseason run was obviously fulled by Ray’s comeback and his retirement announcement. I will say this and say this time and time again; his retirement announcement was the single greatest motivational tactic in the history of professional sports.
It’s also funny how once Ray made this announcement all of the murder talks and deer antler spray stories started arising, yet if the Ravens weren’t in the postseason nor the Super Bowl would any of these things have risen again.
I wrote a little blurb about players getting second chances in the NFL and Ray is no different.
Ray wasn’t around for a large chunk of the season because of a torn right triceps muscle. However, just because he wasn’t in the huddle being the quarterback of the defense, doesn’t mean Ray’s presence wasn’t felt. Ray was playing his traditional role of team chaplain and always rallying the troops when it appeared as if there was no light at the end of the tunnel in the 2012 season.
Then, he made the announcement and came back.
Ray tallied 51 total tackles in the postseason, leading all tacklers by far. Four games played and he averaged over 12 tackles a game. Unbelievable.
For a guy who appeared to look really old in the Super Bowl and clearly not the same player he was earlier in his career, he gave everything he had left in the tank in this postseason and came out a TWO-TIME Super Bowl champion.
This fan base is truly one that cannot be stood by anyone across the nation simply because there are times when the fans speak irrationally. You would’ve thought Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco committed murder on their closest relatives with all of the bashing those two have taken on sports talk radio since 2008.
The fans are greedy because they are used to winning… and there is nothing wrong with that to a point.
However, this fan base stood up and stood behind this team when it mattered most in the Super Bowl. You can’t tell me Kaepernick was expecting to the hear the roars of “Seven Nation Army” the way that he did in Super Bowl XLVII. The amount of people on WNST’s own march to the stadium. The amount of people that were just in New Orleans to be a part of the festivities win or lose. The amount of people that showed up to the parade and celebration at M&T Bank stadium was just flat out phenomenal.
Throughout the season, WNST hosted player shows at several events across Baltimore. It was amazing to see the turnouts each and every week just to be around these guys and get closer with the players that they love to watch each and every Sunday from August to February.
This fan base is second to none because football is truly everything in this town. This run was more special because there is an entire generation that has now grown up with the Ravens, including me, that has been around through the early stages of the franchise, their first Super Bowl and last five years of playoff wins and now another Super Bowl victory to add to our collection. I can’t thank the Ravens enough for making my first year in sports media this enjoyable.