Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ray of Sunshine

Over the years, whenever people from out of town wish to chide me about being from Baltimore, they usually zero in on one of two topics...either the way people talk around here, or Ray Lewis.

Enough about how people talk, hon.  Let's talk about Ray, or Ray-Ray, as he likes to be called.  He was one of the first Ravens, coming here right out of his great college career at the U of Miami, and he had a stellar career here as linebacker and Supreme Moral And Spiritual Force for the football team.  To the delight of almost everyone in the free world, he led his team to victory in last year's Super Bowl, and retired a World Champion.

The rub against Ray always has been the controversy about his participation in the deaths of two men following the 2000 Super Bowl in Atlanta.  There was an altercation outside a nightclub; just who committed the murders of the two men by stabbing has never been established.  Ray did plead guilty to making a misleading statement to police, although people who support football teams that have lost to the Ravens in the past like to say that Ray is responsible for not only those two deaths, but also the Teapot Dome scandal and Watergate. Seriously. I don't minimize the deaths, but outside of Baltimore, the court of public opinion has judged Ray guilty of a crime that the court did not.

That said, you might recall that last year during the Super Bowl, the Ravens were way ahead just as the third quarter began, and then the lights went out at the Superdome in New Orleans.  By the time some genius figured out the problem (right >>>) the opposing 49ers caught their breath, and nearly caught the Ravens, who won in the end because, as Ray said repeatedly, they were a team of destiny.

The other day, Ray stated that he feels the whole lights-going-out thing was a conspiracy thing.    Here's the quote, and it must be right, because I got it from FOX Sports:
"I'm not gonna accuse nobody of nothing — because I don't know facts," Lewis says on an upcoming installment of NFL Films’ "America’s Game" series. "But you're a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. (Laughs) No way.

"Now listen, if you grew up like I grew up — and you grew up in a household like I grew up — then sometimes your lights might go out, because times get hard. I understand that. But you cannot tell me somebody wasn't sitting there and when they say, 'The Ravens (are) about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.' . . . That's a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game."
The Ravens open their new season on Thursday night.  It will be the first in their history without Ray on the roster. Someone will have to step up and fill the void.  But we'll always have
quotes like this to remind us of the good old days.

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