Bob Haynie: Ray Lewis, A Baltimore Sports Legend
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There has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not Ravens MLB Ray Lewis will suit up for this Sunday’s playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.
What the world found out today is that Lewis will not suit up for the 2013 NFL season or any other.
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The future Hall of Famer announced on Wednesday that he will retire from the Baltimore Ravens and the National Football League after this year’s playoff run comes to an end.
After 13 Pro Bowls, Two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards and being named MVP of Super Bowl 35, Lewis has decided that his 17th season will be his last.
When the Ravens’ season comes to an end–whenever that may be–one of the great era’s in Baltimore sports will end as well.
Ray Lewis has been a mainstay for the Ravens since 1996. Their first year of existence.
His play on the field has been exemplary. If not, most of the time, brilliant.
He has inspired teammates, coaches and fans through three US Presidents and two stadiums.
On the field, Lewis has been awesome.
Off the field, the tragedy of Atlanta in 2000, where two men were brutally murdered, is a stain that may never be removed.
Lewis was indicted for murder. Although, the chargers were dropped, some will never forgive him for what happened and feel as though he got off easy. With only a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge, that he pleaded guilty to, on his record.
In Baltimore, however, Ray Lewis is beloved figure. One of the great athletes to ever perform in the Charm City.
He will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And he if is isn’t a first-ballot Hall of Famer, they should shut the place down.
But we shouldn’t put a period on the career of Ray Lewis just yet.
The Ravens do play the Colts this coming Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
By the way, will Lewis play? ” There is no reason for me not to play Sunday”. That is what he told the media Wednesday.
Hopefully, the pre-game dance we expect to see Sunday, will not be the last waltz for a Baltimore sports icon.