Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Royalty acknowledges Ray Lewis, the last Original Raven!

Ray Lewis #52
When I was in Baltimore on January 6th, I saw Ray Lewis play his last home game for the Ravens against the Indianapolis Colts. Days before the game, Ray said and I quote "this is my last ride". He decided that his playing days are now over.

When the Ravens were about to take the knee for the last time, they made Ray Lewis an eligible receiver so he can take part in the last play of the game. It was a touching moment for the Raven faithful. In addition, they had a tribute to #52 on the video boards after the game. Furthermore, he took a victory lap around the stands to acknowledge the crowd. It was quite a send off to say the least. I could have left the game early and raced over to FedEx Field like some did to see the Redskins play the Seahawks but I wanted to see the whole game start to finish. Special players like Ray Lewis are few and far between. There was no need to leave early. It should be noted that the majority of the crowd stayed in their seats.

Ray Lewis will always be remembered as one of the greatest linebackers to wear an NFL uniform. It's only a matter of time before he gets the call from Canton for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame which recognizes players for their on field accomplishments.

As for off the field incidents, say what you may about Ray. I'm not here to judge what may have happened. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, good, bad or indifferent.

As for me, I'm writing this because I respect athletic greatness. In my eyes, Ray Lewis was an incredible football player and inspirational leader. Ray is known for motivating the fans when he's introduced to the crowd when the Ravens take the field. He does a dance and he fires up everybody in the building before he runs out to greet the rest of his teammates.

The main reason I really like Ray is for the fact he has been a Raven from day one when the Ravens drafted him from the University of Miami back in 1996.

Ray Lewis is to Baltimore what Cal Ripken Jr. was to the Orioles, a legend who played his whole career for the same team. Like many things these days, loyalty is no longer a top priority for people. It's sad but true.

I've only been fortunate to attend one Super Bowl live in my life. That was Super Bowl XXXV on January 26, 2001 in Tampa, Florida at Raymond James Stadium when the Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Giants, 34-7. Ray Lewis was named the MVP of that game. He has anchored the defense which has made numerous playoff appearances since then. It would be fitting if he and his teammates can return to the Super Bowl again in New Orleans on February 3rd. If so, it will be a memorable way for him to say farewell to the game of football. If not, he has nothing to be ashamed of.

The only thing is his way right now is the New England Patriots as his Ravens get ready for an AFC Championship game rematch on Sunday night in Foxboro.

Win or lose, Ray Lewis will always be remembered for his exploits on the field of play.

Thank you Ray for all the memories you gave us football fans over the last 17 years you played. You will be missed.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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