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

October 26, 2010 | Nestor Aparicio

– a man for all seasons who has stood the test of time and actually “improved” over the years because of his decade of good behavior after the fallout of the mess from Atlanta in January 2000.

Who could’ve believed that 10 years later we’d see his star far transcend that of even Cal Ripken in national endorsement conversations and begin to emerge as a bit of a warm, fuzzy kind of figure not only in Baltimore but in the conversation of the icons of NFL history.

And, honestly, what we’re seeing here now in the twilight of his career – and it’s honestly almost degrading to call it an actual “twilight” just yet because that term is a tad-bit derogatory – I’m beginning to think that maybe we take him for granted far too often here in Baltimore.

So during this bye week I thought it would be an interesting “term paper” for me if I examined the most complex sports journalism figure of my lifetime and my career in Baltimore sports media during this downtime for the NFL here at WNST.net.

Over the next three days I hope to open a conversation from folks about Ray Lewis, who has taken on a superhero kind of status in Baltimore.

In a city where black and white are far too often still divided in so many ways, Ray Lewis is not black or African American or rich or anything that would be thought of as different than a sort of modern day “family” member for anyone who calls Baltimore home. (What home in Baltimore DOESN’T have something with Ray Lewis’ name on it in this city?)

Actually Ray Lewis has a color all of his own – Ray Lewis is purple,