and kept his name and nose clean for a decade now.
And there’s little doubt from anyone who’s been around Ray Lewis as long as I have that he’s a better human being and better influence on everyone around him 10 years after the confetti fell in Tampa — another night and event that will define his legacy and shape his destiny.
Everyone sees a different Ray Lewis. But no mistake about it he’s always noticed and his current situation in Baltimore and nationwide is still an open canvas for the rest of his life after retirement.
I’m pretty sure Ray Lewis doesn’t really care much for me after all of these years. I questioned his skipping some off season activities when he was in a contract dispute many years ago and he’s never forgotten it. One time he got in an elevator alone with me and I said hi and he essentially told me that he wasn’t speaking to me anymore. At the Detroit Super Bowl in 2006, he was so blatantly rude to us that we couldn’t help but be offended. What he did to me last Monday in regard to any interview for this series was so rude and thoughtless that I’m not even going to write about it until tomorrow because it’s incongruent with his greater message.
But, I’m not sure Ray Lewis trusts most people. And just because I like Ray Lewis doesn’t mean that he has to like me.
And I like Ray Lewis. When I do interact with him it is very matter of fact and almost “chilly” these days. Relationship and conversation are a two-way street and I’m only responsible for one way.
But it’s always interesting hearing his point of view when he actually expresses it and it’s quite joyful to watch his interactions with teammates in Owings Mills, especially the guys who are 12 to 15 years younger than he is during this graybeard stage of his career.
I tried for a few weeks to chat with him for this piece but the best we can do is to present a few pieces we’ve done over the years and we’ll do that over the next few days.
But I’ve had a few transcendent moments with Ray over the years and I’m eternally grateful