Ray’s Last Ride

The Charger Bulletin

By Mike Nicolini

Contributing Writer

On the verge of the 2012-2013 NFL playoffs, Ray Lewis made news that shocked the football world. Ray Lewis, one of the greatest linebackers to ever play, announced his decision that he would retire at the end of the year.

Ray is known as being one of the greatest leaders and motivational speakers in sports. Lewis was attempting to beat all the odds by coming back from a torn triceps injury in time to play what would be his last home game in the wild card round of the playoffs versus the Indianapolis Colts.

As expected, the atmosphere for this game was astonishing, as the 71 thousand fans roared from their seats. It was almost as if the viewers knew the Ravens were going to win the game as soon as Ray Lewis walked out of the Ravens tunnel for the last time and did his signature dance as his name was introduced.

Baltimore went on to win the game by a score of 24-9 and move on to the divisional round versus the heavily-favored Denver Broncos. However, going against all odds, Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens walked into Mile High Stadium in Denver and won one of the most exciting games in recent history. The excitement and thrill of the final drive led by quarterback Joe Flacco to bring the game into overtime cannot be matched.

With this miraculous win, the Ravens were set to face the New England Patriots, led by superstar quarterback Tom Brady. The Ravens, being the heavy underdogs once again, rolled over New England, shocking everybody with a final score of 28-13. It was at this point where every football fan took a step to acknowledge and appreciate the great run Ray Lewis was putting together in his final games.

Now, the stage was set for Super Bowl Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens faced the San Francisco 49ers in Ray Lewis’ last game ever. There was one thing for certain on game day, which was that Ray Lewis would give one of the most motivational and emotional speeches in his career before kickoff to get his team ready for battle.

After an exciting gridiron battle, the Baltimore Ravens finished their magical run and edged out the 49ers in an exciting 34-31 ballgame. No one could have written the script any better for Ray Lewis. He beat all the odds by coming back from an injury, quieted all the doubters who said he was too old and too slow, and finished his career on top of the world as a champion. Teammates of Lewis said his speech after the game left them all in tears, which sums up how much he meant to his city.

The Ravens brought the Lombardi trophy home to Baltimore in their celebratory parade, which was bittersweet to fans knowing they have seen the last of the irreplaceable linebacker, number 52, Ray Lewis.