or pressured him. I never asked him about Atlanta or jail or murders. I routinely invited him to The Barn, just like I always did. I offered to not pre-promote the fact that he was coming, because, quite frankly I didn’t need the mob scene that Ray Lewis would bring any more than he did. My show was plenty crowded on Mondays, with or with Lewis. He said he’d come, but he never did. I’m not even sure if he knows how much abuse I took professionally, how many radio shows and television shows that I went on to defend his honor. I put my reputation on the line for Ray Lewis more than once because I thought he deserved it. Still do.
But, inevitably, I guess that night in Atlanta cost me a special relationship as well. That Tuesday night before the Super Bowl in Tampa, I ran into Lewis in the team hotel. He was sitting on a couch chatting with Shannon Sharpe, basically being quiet and minding his own business. He was about to play some video games with former teammate and coach Earnest Byner.
He was bragging to defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis about his performance in front of the media that day. “I didn’t give them anything,” Lewis said with pride. “Nothing.”
Unfortunately, Ray Lewis will get nothing in return. And that’s a shame.
He’s a good man. Even if he never makes it to Disneyland or onto the cover of a Wheaties box.