In August, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis made his intentions clear. If his team wins the Super Bowl, Ray will ride into the sunset.
“My son will be a junior this year. I only play this game for another ring,” Lewis told Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com. “If we can win it this year, and I’m being brutally honest with you, if we win it this year, I’m gone to then spend as much time as I can with him. I’m gone to be with my son. And I feel like now we have enough pieces in place to make a good run at the Super Bowl.”
Now that the Ravens are within two victories of giving Ray the ultimate retirement gift, Ray isn’t thinking about the possibility of winning it all and walking away.
“Let me sum it up for all players: This is a one-time thing,” Lewis said in an NFL Network interview on Sunday, via the Baltimore Sun. “We don’t get youth back, so there isn’t any coming back to this for me. If we go win the Super Bowl this year, what am I supposed to look at my team and say? Individually, ‘I have two, I’m done.’ Or do I look at my fellas and say, ‘Let’s scrap it up one more time, let’s see if we can make this run one more time.’ That’s all what the legacy is about. Togetherness and to hoist that Lombardi with my boys. There is nothing I wouldn’t give up for that.”
So, apparently, it comes down to spending time with his son, or spending time with his boys. And Ray realizes that, once he walks away from the game, the latter option will disappear forever.
Maybe Lewis simply doesn’t want to consider life without football right now because it would undermine his ability to focus on the task at hand. Regardless, even though the Ravens were 4-0 this season during his absence from a foot injury, both sides could decide to do it one more time, even if Lewis gets his second title 11 years after he earned his first one.