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Yes, you should include “Atlanta” in a discussion about Ray Lewis’ career…

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Yes, you should include “Atlanta” in a discussion about Ray Lewis’ career…

Posted on 09 January 2013 by Drew Forrester

I’m amazed at how many idiots with keyboards suddenly decided last week or even earlier this week was the right time to chime in with their “Ray Lewis opinion”.

I know how it works, of course.  ”We have papers to sell,” say the editors.  ”Can’t you come up with something inflammatory about that black football player in Baltimore who killed a couple of people a few years ago and never paid the price for it because he’s an athlete?”

And the writers, because they want work, jump on the angle of being different.  ”Everyone is going to glorify the career of Ray Lewis.  I’ll think outside the box and remind everyone about those murders.”

Well, anyone who writes about the career of Ray Lewis has every right to mention the events that transpired in Atlanta back in January of 2000.

If you were writing or discussing the career of Ray Lewis and you didn’t mention or refer to “Atlanta”, you’d be skipping one of the most important moments in Ray’s life.  It changed him, for the better.  And he’s admitted that.

Earlier this week, an Orlando Sentinel columnist wrote THIS PIECE saying “Let’s not forget the two guys who were murdered in Atlanta” (while we celebrate the career of Ray Lewis).

Yeah, I know that’s exactly what I was thinking about on Sunday.  OK, maybe not.

But that’s what the Orlando columnist decided to focus on because…well…because he didn’t have anything better to offer, I suppose.

Atlanta and “the incident” is definitely part of Ray Lewis’ life.  No one would argue that.

Of course, if you wrote about the life of Muhammad Ali, you’d have to at least remind everyone that he was a draft dodger.  He was, I’ll remind you, arrested and found guilty of draft evasion.

I don’t remember anyone writing a story about the “other” kids who did go to Vietnam and died for their country whenever the Ali career is remembered.

If you were going to chronicle the eight year Presidential run of Bill Clinton, you’d have to include his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment hearings that followed.

By the way, where’s the story saying, “Let’s not forget about Monica”?  Her life changed the day her name surfaced.

You can’t cover the life and times of Pete Rose without focusing on the fact that while he managed a team in the major leagues, he bet on games, including those involving his own team.

And, as Lance Armstrong is finding out right now, you can’t discuss or cover his incredible cycling career without including commentary about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.

Just like the Atlanta story with Ray Lewis, all of the other “bumps in the road” of Ali, Clinton, Rose and Armstrong turned out to be indelible impressions we can’t possibly ignore when assessing the accomplishments of those people.

But, in Lewis’ case specifically, there was a significant development (a murder charge, completely unfounded, of course) followed by a much smaller accusation and a guilty plea of obstruction of justice.  Years later, the Atlanta DA who was originally assigned to the Ray Lewis case admitted he charged the linebacker with murder simply to “scare him” into coming clean with what he knew about the night’s events.

That’s weird…very few people who wrote about the Atlanta incident last week mentioned that one little nugget of (important) information.

Lewis, as we in Baltimore know, has become an iconic figure here because of his great play on the field and his dedication to the community and the inner city.  Naturally, if you’re some sort of asshat in Orlando, Florida who hasn’t been in Charm City on Thanksgiving to see Ray distribute 5,000 turkeys and serve a meal with his mom in the house as the co-chef, you wouldn’t know anything about that sort of stuff.

And you wouldn’t include it in your story when the boss says, “Go cover the Ray Lewis retirement thing.”

You would, though, write a story that asks us to “remember the murder victims” of the Atlanta incident because, well, authoring a “redemption story” just wouldn’t be cool.

Atlanta is part of Ray’s life the same way Cassius Clay saying, “I’m not going to fight for my country” is part of his history.  One of those stories included the murder of a couple of miscreants who were trying to make a quick hit after a nightclub closed and, some would say, wound up on the bad end of their own criminal intentions.  The other story was about a man’s religious beliefs and a decision that would lead many to criticize him THEN and applaud him NOW.

Ray Lewis didn’t murder anyone.

But we keep hearing about it, over and over, because some people just don’t feel like doing the work that’s required to write or comment on something sensibly.

It’s part of Ray’s life.

Just like serving turkeys and winning a Super Bowl and retiring and being a first-ballot Hall of Famer is part of it.

 

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There’s absolutely no replacement for the 15-7-0

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There’s absolutely no replacement for the 15-7-0

Posted on 10 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

The “ELITE” 15…

1. It was way more interesting than it needed to be, but Maryland got a nice win Saturday.

Ryan Chell and I made the drive up to Filthy Saturday, and I will admit I expected much worse than what I got.

As Darren Pang would say, “holy jumpin’!” Perry Hills wasn’t great-but he made some nice throws. Marcus Leak was fantastic, and Stefon Diggs more than made up for an earlier fumble with that spectacular catch you saw there at the end of the game.

Most of us would have settled for just not giving up 12 rushing touchdowns like it felt like they did a year ago against the Owls. Instead we got Randy Edsall’s first EVER road win.

While I was in the “Illadelph” (to quote The Roots), I had a tasty chicken cheesesteak and a pretzel. I did not however get to stop at the place The Nasty One recommended, “Talk of the Town” for one of their steaks.

Anything anybody can tell me about this place?

I was a little disappointed we didn’t bump into Temple fan and friend of “The Reality Check” Bill Cosby at the game, but apparently he was busy looking dapper at UMass…

2. Rex Ryan and the Jets are perhaps the greatest trolls in the history of football.

The Jets didn’t just look BAD in the preseason, they looked like one of the worst teams in the history of football. They scored one offensive touchdown. They looked to have the offensive ineptitude of a JV football team, but at one of those schools where they only have like 300 students so the JV team is mostly made up of girls and kids that thought they were trying out for badminton.

And then, this.

I’m not as baffled as you. I’m significantly more baffled. I had sort of assumed the Jets were just going to panic and line Tim Tebow up at every position to try to set some sort of bizarre record because they cared so little about winning.

What the eff? I PICKED THE JETS TO WIN?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!!?

Heh. I knew it all along.  And you doubted.

Here’s what Thurman Thomas thought about the Bills’ effort…

But other than that I hear he enjoyed it. Before we move on, here’s Bills TE Scott Chandler knocking down Rex Ryan…

Here’s Antonio Cromartie flipping into the endzone…

And after the game Bart Scott announced a media boycott. Who says he didn’t learn anything from Ed Reed while in Charm City?

3. Most of the talk after Redskins-Saints is related to Robert Griffin III, but Billy Cundiff probably deserves a bit of attention himself.

About effing time someone started paying attention to RG3, don’t you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlSFtmr7vj4

The real question for the Skins? Is the former Heisman Trophy winner REALLY this good or did he play a dreadful defense?

The real question for the Saints? Can things get better or will not having their head coach prove to doom the season?

The other question? Will Nike be able to capitalize on adidas pitchman Griffin’s “Heart”?

I wish I could root for this guy. DAMNIT why did he have to be drafted to DC? For example, I’d LOVE to enjoy this…

…but clearly there’s no chance.

Oh and also! Billy Cundiff made all four of his field goal tries. That seems noteworthy for some reason, I just can’t think of why.

4. The SEC again emphatically proved to be greater than the Big 12. Wait. The hell? Missouri and Texas A&M aren’t in the Big 12 anymore?

I had just sorta figured a college basketball-style “Big 12/SEC Challenge” had been scheduled this weekend. I was as surprised as you.

The story of Georgia/Missouri was the jawing about “Old Man Football”. It was good enough to win…

Also, another look at Mizzou’s unis, please…

The story of Florida/Texas A&M was the Aggies forgetting they play two halves in college football still…

There was however this Ben Malena absolute BLAST for TAMU fans who want to feel better about things…

And since we’re here…did you happen to see the live broadcast of Midnight Yell Practice from Kyle Field Friday night on ESPNU?

There were 40,000 people there. To practice yelling. I have no words. I’m going to wear overalls to Maryland/UConn next week. And then there’s this…

5. Perhaps Mark Sanchez got a lesson in quarterbacking from Matt Barkley this weekend.

For like five seconds as it was storming in New Jersey Saturday there was a thought Syracuse could hang with USC. Nope.

There was a bit of a weather issue in the New York area Saturday (hell…in the Baltimore area too). You might have noticed it if you were watching the U.S. Open semifinal between Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych…

6. Jay Cutler is REALLY happy to have Brandon Marshall, but Matthew Stafford still has Calvin Johnson folks.

You know how good Calvin Johnson is? He had over 100 yards receiving Sunday and NO ONE noticed. No one except Matthew Stafford of course, who needed somewhere to throw the ball to help move past his THREE interceptions…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLSpaBwVE4M

What you missed in that highlight package? Cortland Finnegan chucked an ear pad from Megatron’s helmet to the Rams’ sideline. Dirty? Clever? Rhubarb?

Here’s a picture that shows the Lions cost Floyd Mayweather $100,000 during the first half of the game…

Meanwhile…in the Windy City…the Brandon Marshall experiment is working thus far. Who would have ever thought a tall receiver would be something a NFL team would actually want?

And if I were to ask you, “who is the longest tenured player in Chicago Bears history?”, what would your answer be?

Would your answer have been this?

That’s LS Patrick Mannelly, who began his 15th season with the Bears today.

Don’t worry. No one else has heard of him either.

7. Randy Moss was a difference maker at Lambeau Field. This is not a repeat of a 15-7-0 from 2003.

Quite the day in Green Bay for the Niners Sunday, especially K David Akers…

Well…I guess it was quite the day for everyone involved in the game that DIDN’T try to dunk the ball over the crossbar. I’m looking at you, Vernon Davis…

Here’s Jim Harbaugh’s reaction…

The Packers, Saints and Giants all lost at home on Week 1. Apparently “parity” isn’t just a well known Civil War battleship.

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