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End of the Line for Ray

By Shannon Stern


Selfishly, I thought this day would never come. Truthfully, it is still not real. The middle linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, arguably the star of the team, Ray Lewis, announced his retirement today. Lewis said this would be his last run, retiring after this season.


Lewis has played his entire professional career with the Ravens and is the last remaining player from the Ravens inaugural season in 1996. He was a large part of the team’s 2000 Super Bowl XXXV victory, winning MVP for his performance, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a unanimous All-Pro selection, and a starting position in the Pro Bowl. In total, Lewis was voted to thirteen Pro Bowls over his career, was named an Associated Press All-Pro ten times, and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in both 2000 and 2003.


Unfortunately, the time has come for the great to retire. Before this season, Lewis made a statement saying he could not see himself playing past 37. He turned 37 in May. During the October 14th game against the Dallas Cowboys, Lewis tore his triceps. Consequently, he missed the rest of the regular season. He still appeared on the sidelines and in pregame huddles, providing the enthusiasm and encouraging words he is known for. At the end of the 2012 regular season, he was put back on the active roster, in hopes for him to play during the post season run.


After addressing the team and the media this morning, many Ravens took to Twitter and to the media to express their thoughts. Wide Receiver Torrey Smith, via Twitter, stated “Had to watch Big Ray announce his retirement...it has been amazing to play with him...We need to take care of business for him and our city.” The “other” Ray, Ray Rice, took to the media saying that he could not picture Baltimore without Lewis and Baltimore is Ray Lewis.


This Sunday will be the last time Lewis will be on the Ravens’ field at M&T Bank Stadium. The last time he will play in the city of Baltimore. Thank you, Ray, for all that you have done for the city of Baltimore. The Baltimore Ravens, the city, and the NFL will not be the same without you. This year, the run for the Lombardi is not just for Art, it is for you. We love you Ray!