The Super Bowl is over. My family once again welcomes me back into the realm of eye contact on Sundays and Monday nights. And Thursday nights. And the occasional Saturday. It was a fun season, culminating with a championship game full of intrigue and stories: Brother versus Brother, a pair of quarterbacks looking to break through into that elite group of winners, Beyonce knocking out out the power in the building, and Ray Lewis.
If you're a casual football fan, you know who Ray is. He was the "emotional leader" of the Baltimore Ravens for the entire span of his seventeen year career. This hard-hitting linebacker came into the league in the Ravens' inaugural season, and played with them until he won his second championship with them. And now his storybook ends.
But what about that whole murder-aggravated assault thing back in 2000? "God has never made a mistake. That’s just who He is, you see. And if
our system – it’s the sad thing about our system – if our system took
the time to really investigate what happened thirteen years ago, maybe they
would have got to the bottom line truth. But the saddest thing ever was
that a man looked me in my face and told me, ‘We know you didn’t do
this, but you’re going down for it anyway.’ To the family, if you knew,
if you really knew the way God works, he don’t use people who commits
anything like that for His glory. No way. It’s the total opposite." These were the words he had for the victim's families of that night in Atlanta during an interview with former teammate, Shannon Sharpe. Ray paid for his sins. With cash money. Isn't that enough?
Well, there was the other penalty he incurred. When he won most valuable player of the Super Bowl a year after the murder for which he was acquitted, the folks at Disney didn't ask Ray to spout their traditional affirmation. That honor went to Ravens quarterback Trent Dilfer. Trent got to tell the world that he was going to Disneyland. That must have been a very humbling experience for Ray.
And now, as the sun sets on the football life of one of the biggest personalities of the NFL, we wonder about the legacy of Ray Lewis. I wonder what His plan will be.