Ray Lewis knows exactly how he would like to end his storied 17-year National Football League career, but the Baltimore Ravens linebacker prefers to measure his life by more than gridiron results.
Lewis yearns to raise the Lombardi Trophy for a second time and needs a road win game to reach his first Super Bowl since the Ravens’ triumph in 2001.
The 37-year-old inspiring leader of the Ravens, and 13-time Pro Bowl selection, said he has told team mates about the sweeetest words he has ever heard on the job.
“How can you top the moment of hearing those famous words, ‘Ravens have won the Super Bowl.’ When you play the game that is what you play the game for. You play and hope that one day you hear those words,” Lewis told reporters in a conference call.
“That is what I’m trying to get this team to go back and hear one more time. So that they can really feel what it feels like. Because when you hear it, like I tell all of them, your life will never be the same again.
“Once you are a champion, you are always a champion, and that is likely one of the best things I am going to remember of all time.”
Many Ravens are rallying to send Lewis off on a high note.
Running back Ray Rice, who is one of Lewis’ nearest friends on the team, believes the Lewis’ “last ride” has been a factor in the Baltimore Ravens beating the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos in the playoffs.
“For our general, our captain, this is it for him. If you want to call it riding an emotional high, naturally we are,” Rice said. “We’re going to go out there and give it our best shot for our man. He’s done it for 17 years and led our guys to one Super Bowl. I’m not taking away no credit from the Patriots. They set the standard on how to win. But you’re talking about a pioneer that laid a platform for the entire NFL. We’d like to send him out the right way.”
Even the NE Patriots paid respect to Lewis.
“It’s really a pleasure to play against him,” asserted New England’s Tom Brady, who has won more NFL playoff games than any other quarterback (17). Basketball betting lines
“He’s really been so consistent over the years and durable and tough. He’s so instinctive. He doesn’t give up barely any plays, makes a lot of tackles.”
Lewis said the winning or losing wasn’t most important.
“I think the best thing you can ever be remembered for is the impact and things you had on other people,” he said.
“At the end of the day, with all the men that I’ve been around, to one day look back here and hear men say, ‘He was one of people who helped changed my life,’ is maybe one of the best legacies to be remembered for.”