You can make an argument that Ray Lewis is the greatest middle linebacker that the NFL has ever seen. He will undoubtedly become a first ballot Hall of Famer, as his pursuits on the field are unquestionable. 2016 could have been a better year for him though. Lewis’ was in the headlines this year for some not so great reasons to say the least. It started off when he publicly questioned the Black Lives Matter movement and said that “slavery was about togetherness.” That was followed by his son being arrested for sexual assault. To top it all off, just last month, he was fired from his gig as an analyst on ESPN NFL Countdown.
Today, Mr. Lewis is back in the headlines again, this time for a story he shared while on TEDx Talk. Prior to Super Bowl XLVII, pitting the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers, Lewis was the main story line, as he had previously his torn tricep muscle. Unbeknownst to anyone else, he shared that he re-tore the muscle the night before the big game, claiming that he kept his arm elevated by tying a shoestring around it, allow him to “get three hours of sleep.”
Lewis goes on to say that during halftime of the Super Bowl, he was in so much pain that he contemplated telling the trainers. “I stayed in [the locker room] a little longer because I got ready to tell the trainers, ‘I’m like, man, listen, I can’t even punch nobody with my arm. It’s hurting that bad,” but then “a whisper came to me. ‘It ain’t about you, it’s about the team.”
Ray continues, saying that as he was walking through the tunnel to re-enter the game with his team at the start of the second half, he heard God speak to him, instructing him to touch teammate Jacoby Jones. Lewis obliged and put his hands on Jones’ chest telling him, “I’m just doing what God told me to do.” As fate would have it, Jones returned the opening kickoff in the second half for an 108 yard touchdown. The longest play in Super Bowl history.
Love him or not, Ray Lewis definitely has a flare for the dramatics.