My Ray Lewis memories

January 03, 2013 | Drew Forrester


The standing joke among those of us who cover the Ravens was this:  “When Ray Lewis calls it quits, he’s not walking out of that stadium.  The Ravens are going to have scrape him off the field with a spatula.”

We’ve said that over the years because everyone who has ever been around him knows how much Ray Lewis loves life in the NFL.

He loves football.  He loves the Ravens.  And he loves Baltimore.

Getting him to call it quits would be tough.

But like he did when he was a late signee at Miami, or when he was “too small” to be a big-time linebacker in the NFL, Ray proved everyone wrong again when he calmly announced his intentions to retire on Wednesday.

He stood at the podium and explained himself in a logical, well-planned manner.  He was emotional, as always, but not overly so, like one would have expected.

Ray was at peace on Wednesday.

And it turns out that spatula won’t be needed after all.

Ray Lewis is going out like a champion, on his own terms, at his own pace, by his own designs.  And he’s doing it for his son, Ray Jr., who starts next fall at the University of Miami after a successful high school football career in Florida.

“I told (Ray) Junior two years ago…if you get a scholarship to play college football, I promise that your Dad will be there with you on the sideline every Saturday.  I’m going to do that journey with you.”

And that, the love of a son, will end the Hall of Fame career of Ray Lewis.

I can’t think of a better way for him to go out.

It would have been easy for Ray to say to his son, “Look, I know I told you I’d be there for you, and I will be.  But Daddy has some unfinished business to take care of.  I have a championship to win.  I need to get back to Baltimore in 2013 and give it one last shot and then I’ll be there for you after that.”

His son might have understood that.  His dad, after all, is a Hall of Fame football player.

But Ray Lewis made a promise to his son two years ago and on Wednesday in Baltimore, he kept it.

As a father myself, I’ve been taught a great lesson by Ray Lewis and it had nothing at all to do with football.


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11 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve Says:

    I like the way you put this together, drew nice job

  2. Jason Says:

    Excellent read Drew.

  3. Unitastoberry Says:

    I saw him his first day of practice at Westminster.You could get really close to them that first year up there. Never followed him in college knew nothing about him but standing behind the sled I could see his speed and intensity. I also think working with Maxie Baughan his first few seasons here helped him understand how to play dominate 3 and out defense. In my life I have seen just about every great player minus 13 years that the NFL screwed us since 1966. If you read my comments over the years you know I have a fondness for the great Mike Curtis and how he should be in the HOF or at least up there at M&T with the other HOF B Colts.But Ray Lewis is better yeah I said it. His performance in the 2000 playoffs especially the home game with Denver was a one man wrecking crew from the MLB position to win a Superbowl the likes of which will not be seen again. Butkus never did that. Good luck Ray and God bless you. Stick around Baltimore and help this town out.

  4. John in Westminster Says:

    Well done.

  5. Robert Canady Says:

    Well done Drew. I enjoyed the piece. Not one word about a game changing interception, sack or fourth down stop. Yet, it really captured the essence of Ray and his impact on the team and city.

  6. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    The fans have been truly blessed having been able to watch Ray excell at his position like no other. A one of a kind player came down the road and luckily he stayed in Baltimore, Ray, thanks for the memories, you are a very special player.

  7. The Armchair QB Says:

    Nice tribute to a deserving icon! Not enough adjectives to describe this once-in-a-lifetime football player. It’s been a privilege and pleasure to watch him perform the past 17 years and, while he will be missed, the memories will last an eternity! Thanks for those memories, Ray, and best wishes for your success after football……….

  8. BmoreBobRob Says:

    I heard some of his financial troubles have been linked to investing a ton in You Pon. That is why he hung on for a few years in order to recover the money he lost. (DF: The only way he could have invested in something worse would have been sinking a bunch of money into your comedy career.)

  9. Art Lawrence Says:

    Ah BmoreBobRob- you never forget….you probably remember when bankruptcy was still an option… many of us have forgotten Ray’s steakhouse in canton. how is it we talk about players contributing to our community but when he puts up a stakehouse, we don’t show up in droves to support it? this community failed him but at least he didn’t fail us….#52

  10. dave hittinger Says:

    Great player, possibly the greatest linebacker ever. Off the field he has many serious issues to deal with. I wish him well. (DF: You’re hilarious. What “many serious issues” does he have to deal with? This should be good…)

  11. dave hittinger Says:

    Four baby mamas to start…(DF: That’s it? That’s your angle? Wow. I expected a lot more from you. Swing and a miss.)

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