Ray Lewis past, present and future: Is it safe to say the Ghost of Ray has passed?

October 26, 2010 | Nestor Aparicio

amidst fury in a space that I really loved and I’m sure he took incredible pride in. I’m not lying when I say this: THAT was the best BBQ I’ve ever had in my life and I’ll be visiting them in Birmingham when the Ravens go to Atlanta in two weeks!

It’s almost become trite to even discuss the incredible football career of Ray Lewis. If he’s not the greatest defensive football player of all time he’s most certainly in the conversation. He’ll be an automatic Hall of Famer but the book is far from written on what his contributions will be over the next generation here in Baltimore.

I’m constantly inspired by Ray Lewis.

I don’t know how you can’t be at this point? If you love sports and you love the power of football, believe in the power of second chances and love Baltimore sports or the Ravens it’s impossible to not have a strong visceral reaction to any image associated with Ray Lewis.

He IS the Baltimore Ravens. And the Baltimore Ravens are him…

For better or worse…

More than just a local institution, if Baltimore circa 2010 is all about the Ravens then it has to ALL be about Ray Lewis. Baltimore has never known a player like this one that came off of the train with the team from Cleveland and put forth a work ethic, image (for better or worse) and ethos about greatness, perseverance and persistence.

He is all the Ravens have ever known and all this generation of Baltimore football embodies in spirit.

When you think about and now that we’ve seen 15 draft classes it’s hard not to think this:

What were the odds, right? The odds that this late first-round draft pick in the Ravens’ and Ozzie Newsome’s first draft in Baltimore would be on the verge of transcending not only a high-profile murder charge and winning a Super Bowl title a year later but now a decade later has become the most relevant football player of his generation?

If Johnny Unitas was The Beatles and Brooks Robinson was the Rolling Stones then Ray Lewis has proven to be U2