Ray Lewis: Next stop, Canton
Forget Ray the LB, I know that is hard to do. Forget all the accolades, highlights, and just plain amazing play. Remember Ray Lewis the man, the friend, confidant, and just ordinary human being. Thinking of Ray Lewis as an ordinary guy is one thing that people forget to do. He is the guy that lives next door, the guy who hates taking out the trash. The guy that loves watching his children play sports, and he is guy that you see running through the neighborhood early in the morning while you are drinking coffee. His foundation, The Ray Lewis Family Foundation does so many things in the community that are so far from football that people forget Ray Lewis the man.
Leader of men, fierce, ultimate competitor, hard-nosed, and so many other terms and phrases can be used to describe Baltimore Ravens MLB Ray Lewis. A man of faith who loves to hit opposing players and makes them think twice before they run his way again. When a coach envisions what they would want in a player at any position, but especially MLB, the face of Ray Lewis comes to all of their minds. Ray is every coach’s dream and every offense’s nightmare.
It starts with his eyes; they are intense and can look right through a person and strike fear in opposing players on the other side of the ball. He is that coach’s dream player does all that is asked of him and will go above and beyond what he is asked to do. You cannot outwork him, first at practice, last one to leave. Every drill is run at full speed as if he were chasing down opposing players. His longevity in this game that he loves is proof of his commitment to the game.
From the time Ray Lewis stepped onto a football field so many years ago, he has proved people wrong and showing fans and critics alike that he is the best. Now that he is coming to the end of his career he has shown everyone that Ray Lewis is the best Linebacker to ever play the game.
Ray has been the inspirational leader of the Ravens ever since he came to the Ravens. He is the heart and soul of that team. He leads by example and he does not accept excuses from players who do not put out the effort day in and day out that he does.
Super Bowl XXXV Champion, Super Bowl XXXV MVP, 12 times a Pro Bowler, 2050 career tackles, 41 sacks, 50 takeaways and 31 interceptions are just a few statistics are on a very long list of accomplishments that are Ray Lewis. There are too many accolades to list in just a short article.
Next stop for Mr. Ray Lewis is the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He will be a first ballot inductee to the HOF. In my opinion he changed the way teams prepare for a game because of his style of play. Play that in itself changed defenses forever and how it is played when you have a player the caliber of Ray Lewis. Since being drafted by the Ravens in 1996, he has been the most feared Linebacker to have ever laced up a pair of cleats. None more intense, none more prepared, and none more intimidating since Jack Lambert. His style of play and the man that he is, has earned him the respect of NFL players past, present, and future. With his esteemed resume`, Canton is the only place for him to be enshrined where all of his on field exploits will live on long after he has hung up his cleats.