On Sunday, September 22nd, Ray Lewis will be added to the Baltimore Ravens' Ring Of Honor.
The retired, seventeen-year veteran announced his retirement just days before the Ravens' opening playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts last season. Since then, the middle linebacker led the Ravens through the playoffs and eventually on to winning the Super Bowl.
In his illustrious career, Lewis had put up stellar numbers. Through seventeen seasons and 228 games, Lewis boasts 1,336 tackles, 41.5 sacks, and 31 interceptions. His most impressive season, stat wise, was 2003 in which he had 120 tackles and 6 interceptions. Although arguably, the 2001 Super Bowl season was his best. That year he led a tenacious Ravens defense to a crushing 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
The Sunday that Lewis will be inducted will feature a familiar face in the game. Former Ravens free safety Ed Reed will be a Houston Texan for the upcoming season. He will be visiting Baltimore in what promises to be a good matchup.
Lewis will join inductees (pictured below) running back Jamal Lewis (2012), kicker Matt Stover (2011), tackle Jonathan Ogden (2008), linebacker Peter Boulware (2006), and defensive end Michael McCrary (2004) in the Ring of Honor.
It's only fitting to have the Ravens' most active and energetic player inducted into the Ring of Honor. Lewis wasn't just a gifted athlete during his seventeen seasons in the league; he was a leader. Lewis' pre-game speeches quickly became popular around the league and would often draw the attention of the cameras on game day. And his postgame speeches in the locker room were second to none. Lewis always put his faith first. It is well noted that during the past season throughout the playoffs, Lewis had been quoted saying, "No weapon formed against us shall prosper". This is a popular saying found in the book of Isaiah in the Bible. This saying proved true during the amazing run through the playoffs including the "Mile High Miracle" overtime win over the Denver Broncos as well as when the team was reeling in the Super Bowl and needed to fight off a San Francisco comeback. Lewis could also be quoted as saying Bible verses and praising God for the team's successes.
It's said that players entered into the Ring of Honor had combined talent and wonderful personality in their time on the field that the organization embodies. Some other characteristics to describe these players are gratitude, vision, passion, competitive spirit, humility, faith and courage. There's no doubt that Ray Lewis embodied every single one of these characteristics and more.
This is a wonderful honor, but will surely not be the only one coming Lewis' way.