All good things must come to and end, and it seems The ‘Ray Lewis Era’ is coming to a close for the Baltimore Ravens as Lewis announced his retirement at the end of the season.
“It is time for me to create a new legacy” said Lewis.
Arguably one of the greatest linebackers ever to play the game, Lewis brought skill, swagger and passion to the game of football. He never rested on his laurels instead choosing to constantly challenge and push himself to the limit and continuously change to remain competitive at a high level. His drive and dedication have paid off: Lewis has been named to 12 Pro Bowls, 10 Associated Press All-Pro Teams, voted Defensive Player of the Year twice, led the Ravens in tackles 14 out of 17 years and named Super Bowl MVP in 2000.
His evolution was not limited to the field. Off the field Lewis grew into the role of a leader, motivator, and teacher; a far cry from the talented but troubled Ray Lewis of the late 90’s and early 2000. Now Lewis runs a charitable organization. He founded the Ray Lewis 52 Foundation, a non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth. The foundation has funded such events as adopting families in Baltimore for the holidays, an annual celebrity auction and bowling tournament, the Great Maryland Duck Derby, Thanksgiving food drives on North Avenue in Baltimore and Ray’s Summer Days, all to benefit those less fortunate.
Lewis has been a powerful force in football and will be missed by teammates and foe alike. He is moving on to another phase in life, namely spending time with his children and supporting them in their activities. One of his sons will play football next year at his Alma Mater, The University of Miami .
“I talked to my team today,” Lewis revealed to the Baltimore Sun “I talked to them about life in general. And everything that starts has an end. For me, today, I told my team that this will be my last ride.”
As Lewis takes his last ride into the sunset, we know that the next destination will be The Football Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.
Jersey Girl Fam, what is your favorite Ray Lewis memory? Can he inspire the Ravens to a victory over the Colts?
Your Jersey Girlfriend,