|—||Joe Flacco, confirming what I’ve suspected about Ray Lewis and his speeches for years.|
Aaaand finally, with the last pick of the first round, reigning champs the Baltimore Ravens went defense (natch) by taking Safety Matt Elam out of Florida.
With Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed moved on, the Ravens needed a spot filled in their safety corps. Oh, and just a side note, the last time the Ravens took a safety in the first round, was in the 2002 Draft, when they picked up Ed Reed himself. If Baltimore gets even half the man Reed is out on the field, they did themselves pretty good.
Still working on the celebration here in Baltimore. The parade was bananas and it ended at the stadium. After a 70,000 or so made it in to continue the welcome home festivities, the Fire Marshall shut down the doors. The die hards still made it in.
Still all smiles.
FEAR SERIES: RAY LEWIS
There will never be enough words to describe Ray Anthony Lewis Jr. His life off the field has been polarizing, publicized, forgotten and now highly conversed and covered once again. He’s still risen above it all and day after day been the man you see every sunday. All of that aside; He (along with the original fear post) is the epitome of this sub series done on thecoachingstaff. This man embodies his craft and the word fear. He can crush you with over 1,000 lbs. of force. Trash talk ALMOST as much as Gary Payton. He’s the reason receivers don’t go over the middle. For almost 2 decades there have been 2 constants in the nfl, The Baltimore Ravens’ defense and the now defunct record of Brett Farve starting every game. What has the been the common denominator of the Ravens; defense? Of course it’s Ray Lewis and just like Farve, even if you don’t like Ray theres still some part of you, as a sports fan is still inspired by the guy and that fire he has commands the respect. He is hard work and he’ll be the 1st to tell you hard work aint hard work if hard work aint hard work. He does not and will not shy away from anything or anyone and he has succeed at every level because he refuses to settle for less.
“You’ve got to go out and show them that I’m a different creature now, then I was five minutes ago, cause I’m pissed off for greatness. Cause if you ain’t pissed off for greatness, that just means you’re okay with being mediocre.”
When you watch Ray Lewis, and you hear commentators describing him. The words they use don’t illustrate an ordinary man, they use words that describe a lion willing to die for his pride. Announcers use words like roaming, circling, eyeing because he is the ultimate predator, You know it, I know it, and he knows it.
“I already believe I am the best linebacker in the game. Now, I have to show one more thing ? that I am the most dominating, influential person in the game and the best football player to ever put on a pair of cleats.”
”I don’t go out and try to bash people and then get to the football. No, I get to the running back. No running back wants to face me in this league.”
His teammates even know it
- Tackles: 2,050
- Interceptions: 31
- Sacks: 41.5
- 13× Pro Bowl (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010,2011)
- 7× AP first-team All-Pro (1999, 2000, 2001,2003, 2004, 2008, 2009)
- 3× AP second-team All-Pro (1997, 1998, 2010)
- Super Bowl champion (XXXV)
- 2× AFC champion (2000, 2012)
- Super Bowl XXXV MVP
- 2× AP NFL Defensive Player of Year (2000, 2003)
- 3× AFC Defensive Player Of The Year (2000, 2001, 2003)
- 2× NFL Alumni Linebacker Of The Year (1999, 2003)
- 2× All-American (1994, 1995)
- Record 13 Pro Bowls for an Inside/Middle Linebacker
- Record 10 All-Pro selections for Inside/Middle Linebacker
- Record 10 All-Pro selections for a Linebacker (tied with Lawrence Taylor)
- Most Games Started at Inside/Middle Linebacker (227)
- Most Interception Return Yards for an Inside/Middle Linebacker (503)
- Most seasons played at Inside/Middle Linebacker (17) 
- NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
- 20 sack/20 interception Club- Quickest to reach (113 games)
- 30 sack/30 Interception Club- Quickest to reach (204 games)
- 40 sack/30 Interception Club- Only Member
And his mark of greatness is not only he see himself succeed but his desire to will others to be great. That’s Ray’s more enduring quality thats continued to shine through out his tenure in the NFL.
Win or lose, when he leaves the game I will forever remember him as these three things.
He is resolute.
He is power.
Here are my two favorite hits delivered by ray lewis.
Ray Lewis: Great write-up, great game, great player, great career.
I’m still trying to process the events of last night. Gotta say one thing. It’s nice to see Ed Reed get what he deserves.
What a sport!
When the playoffs started, there was tremendous buzz surrounding young quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. In another group were veterans with Super Bowl pedigree: Manning, Brady, Rodgers.
So of course, it’s Joe Flacco who wins it all, throwing 11 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and tying Peyton Manning in both playoff wins and Super Bowl wins in the process.
The first half belonged to the Ravens. Flacco was connecting with his receivers, the past rush on defense got to Kaepernick when it needed to, keeping the “bend but don’t break” mentality in the red zone that was so effective throughout the playoffs.
Of course, after Beyonce’s half-time performance, and a 108-yard kick-off return from Jacoby Jones, this was headed into forgettable Super Bowl game territory: and then the power outage happened.
We can all speculate what really happened: some say it was a sign that God didn’t actually care about football, or the Dome blew their load after seeing that halftime performance (full video here, if you missed it), or maybe Steve Tasker was the one behind it, since it gave him a 15-minute sideline reporting audition for millions of people to see around the world.
Regardless, the entire concept of momentum gained steam as the 49ers came storming back from a 28-6 deficit and was goal to go with two minutes left in the game, needing a touchdown to take the lead.
Whether it was the play calling, or the quarterback in his 10th career start, or the Ravens defense bending but not breaking one more time, the 49ers didn’t find the end zone, and the celebration started in Baltimore, led on Twitter by Wendell Pierce, better known as Bunk from “The Wire”. Seriously, if you haven’t seen his Twitter timeline tonight, you should.
And so, Joe Flacco no longer has to answer the questions about being elite, Ed Reed adds a title to his Hall-Of-Fame credentials, Ray Lewis gets to ride off to the sunset (or Disney World), and John Harbaugh can brag about this to his brother, but maybe he should give it a few family dinners before he does so.
Another season wraps up. Another playoff full of surprises and filled with exciting finishes (ignoring that first weekend of playoff football, which was terrible).
We’ll start all over again in September. And as usual, no one knows what’s going to happen next season. Except that we’ve seen the last on field dance from Ray Lewis forever.
What does everybody think?
This was the halftime entertainment the last time the Ravens won the Super Bowl. The show featured Britney Spears, Aerosmith, Nelly, Mary J. Blige, and Justin Timberlake, back when he was still
a musician a member of ‘N Sync. At the end, everyone sang “Walk This Way,” which totally surprised everyone watching. A hip-hop hybrid of “Walk This Way”? Crazy! But if Trent Dilfer can win a Super Bowl, anything’s possible.
"Look, Ray Lewis is an inspirational leader and one of the all-time greats, but I don’t think performance-enhancing drugs have any place in the NFL. We need a level playing field to… are you looking at my antlers? My eyes are down here, buddy. OK, as I was saying, illegal substances hurt the integrity of the game, and…is that a saw? Did Ray send you?!? Help!!!"
Pic: Ray Lewis consoles his latest victim, Tom Brady.