Ray Lewis is the original Baltimore Raven, he was the first draft pick of the organization and he was the sole reason why the Ravens defense gained a reputation almost as great as the 1985 Chicago Bears. I am not sure if any team has dominated on defense for a longer time period than Ray Lewis’ Ravens. To say Ray Lewis is one of the greatest linebackers of all-time is almost an understatement, what this man has done in his career he should be able to disregard the mandated 5-year waiting period for players to enter the Hall Of Fame. He might be considered the greatest linebacker of all-time with the numbers he has put up: 16 years, 2,061 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 31 interceptions, 19 forced fumbles, 13 Pro-Bowls, 2 Super Bowl appearances, 2-time Defensive Player of Year, and 1 Super Bowl MVP award.
Ray Lewis has been a model citizen and one of the faces of the NFL since being drafted but in today’s society we have to be negative and tear a man down who has already climbed out of the slums. In 2000, (the same year he won a Super Bowl, the Super Bowl MVP award, and his first Defensive Player of the Year award) Ray Lewis was in a fight that resulted in an indictment for a double-murder and aggravated assault charges. In a plea agreement he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for his testimony against two other defendants. He was not charged for the murders but he is still given grief for being associated with these murders. I love this country but the flack that Ray Lewis has been catching in the media for a closed case that is 13 years old makes me sick to my stomach. The only reason those murders are being brought back to the forefront is because Ray Lewis is back in the Super Bowl, I can guarantee that if the Ravens would have lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game that Ray Lewis would be being praised and getting nothing but good publicity because that would have been the last game of his career. I do not understand why Ray Lewis is being harassed with this bad publicity because he was not found guilty while other athletes who have been found guilty of serious crimes have won championships afterwards and have not been nearly ridiculed to this degree (i.e. Kobe Bryant, who was found guilty of statutory rape and has won 2 championships since). Is it because Ray Lewis is a proud born-again Christian and is quick to praise God at any opportunity given to him? If that is the reason why is Tebow so loved? Once again, Ray Lewis was not found guilty in a court of law so what is he truly being ridiculed for? I think Ray Lewis is getting all of this ridicule because during the Super Bowl and the weeks leading up to it every media outlet needs a big story that they can stretch and I guess the “Harbaugh-bowl” didn’t have enough layers.
At the end of the day I believe Ray Lewis’ legacy should say that he is one of the greatest NFL players of all-time and probably the greatest linebacker of all-time. Ray Lewis’ legacy is the Baltimore Ravens, he built that team the way no athlete in any sport as ever built a team. I do not believe any player as dominated his position as much or for as long as Ray Lewis did the middle linebacker position since Joe Montana at quarterback.