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Birk plans a much quieter exit than his teammate

Birk AP

Everyone realizes that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will retire after Baltimore’s current playoff run ends.

Few are paying attention to the question of whether another veteran will be back in 2013.”A guy like Ray Lewis, you send him off properly — press conferences, all that stuff,” veteran center Matt Birk said Friday, via Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun.  “Guys like me, I just disappear, and then you’re sitting around one day wondering, ‘Hey, whatever happened to that guy whose locker used to be over here?’  That’s how it goes.”

Birk was uncertain about returning in 2012 after a heartbreaking loss in the AFC title game, which was similar in many respects to the manner in which his rookie season ended with the 1998 Vikings.  He eventually decided to play.This time around, he’s not talking about whether he’ll return or retire.”

I’m a live-in-the-moment kind of guy, I really am,” Birk said.  “I never thought I’d be here in 2013 still playing football.  I don’t worry about the future, and I won’t make any decisions until I have to.  That’s kind of my motto.  Serves me well.”

Birk joined the Ravens in 2009 after 11 seasons in Minnesota.  He has four with the Ravens.

Like Ray Lewis, Birk surely would like to ride off into the sunset with a Lombardi Trophy under his arm.

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43 Responses to “Birk plans a much quieter exit than his teammate”
  1. barrywhererufrom says: Jan 19, 2013 10:04 PM

    Class act..at easier to root for Birk..hope he gets that ring and retires..good luck

  2. fitzmagic1212 says: Jan 19, 2013 10:05 PM

    thats a man i respect

  3. skoobyfl says: Jan 19, 2013 10:06 PM

    If he can just have more opposing QB’s handing his team the ball, he’d have a shot.

  4. evilbilly3 says: Jan 19, 2013 10:11 PM

    Kudos Mike! Nice article, nice feel good story. Thanks!

  5. bigks77 says: Jan 19, 2013 10:12 PM

    One of the good guys! Always rooting for Birk!!! When done, get back up here to 93x and half ass morning show!

  6. stanmarshmorelikestandarsh says: Jan 19, 2013 10:14 PM

    Birk didn’t commit homicide and throw away the evidence either. Ravens fans that defend Lewis are absolutely delusional.

  7. abninf says: Jan 19, 2013 10:15 PM

    Classy and humble. No chicken dance or whatever it is.

  8. rextraordinaire says: Jan 19, 2013 10:21 PM

    I’ve always had a lot of respect for birk. I just can’t get over how he looks like he’s 45 years old. If you didn’t know better you’d think he was drafted in 1988 rather than ’98

  9. ballinmore says: Jan 19, 2013 10:22 PM

    Harvard education, 15 years in the NFL and endless amounts of community service. Guy has more class in his big toe than some other teams as a whole.

  10. joedirte says: Jan 19, 2013 10:22 PM

    Birk is a great underratted player, The Falcons have a similar story with Tony Gonzalez as the 1st ballot HOF player and Todd McClure as a 14 year starting Center thats probably gonna retire as well. I hope the Falcons and Ravens can play in the Super Bowl so at least one of these teams can send their veterns off with a ring.

  11. reed20ravens says: Jan 19, 2013 10:22 PM

    one of the most respectable guys in the nfl

  12. redfield11 says: Jan 19, 2013 10:23 PM

    I really want ed reed/lewis/birk/john harbaugh/boldin to get superbowl rings, but part of me doesn’t want Joe Flacco to be a superbowl winning quarterback.
    On the other hand, flacco looks almost exactly like a human version of a raven sometimes so it’s still a match made in heaven

  13. travel4football says: Jan 19, 2013 10:50 PM

    yeah, please don’t go to the extremes Jason Taylor went through to keep playing in the NFL.

  14. sellout1983 says: Jan 19, 2013 10:54 PM

    Hey remember that time when Ray Lewis helped murder those two guys?

  15. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 19, 2013 10:55 PM

    Does he want a cookie? And the people who say it’s “classy” just because he’s subdued? Outward and exuberant expressions do not denote a lack of “class”, just like the notoriously smug and arrogant Birk and his low-key persona do not necessarily suggest “class”. I always wonder about the mental psyche and insecurities of people who have a problem with vibrant and brash personalities. Only insecure people tend to have that issue.

  16. hnrqoliv says: Jan 19, 2013 10:56 PM

    Wasn’t Birk the guy extremely against gay marriage and wrote in an editorial?

  17. 1rockyracoon says: Jan 19, 2013 10:57 PM

    2 ways to retire: tell everyone right after the season and ride off into the sunset or make it all about you and talk about all season long. Unfortunately, Lewis needed all of the attention you get when you announce your retirement before the end of the season. Great player, but definitely an attention hog.

  18. polo550 says: Jan 19, 2013 10:58 PM

    Nice guy. Smart guy but gets bulldozed by good NT’s. Honestly, nobody wanted him back in 2012.

  19. hoodoosteve says: Jan 19, 2013 11:27 PM

    Disappear like his Steakhouse?

  20. evilbilly3 says: Jan 19, 2013 11:31 PM

    I’ve always had a lot of respect for birk. I just can’t get over how he looks like he’s 45 years old.

    He is 36, click on his profile.

  21. swagger52 says: Jan 19, 2013 11:32 PM

    The Ravens have so many high character guys. It is so refreshing versus the Patriots Tom Bieber Smirk.

  22. dutchhmaster says: Jan 19, 2013 11:37 PM

    It’s because Ray Lewis loves attention. This could have been kept quiet but that isn’t Ray Ray’s thing.

  23. cags777 says: Jan 19, 2013 11:51 PM

    As a Vikings fan, I was ticked that Brad Childress sent Matt Birk packing and hoped he would have retired a Viking. But at the same time, he went to a good organization that has given him another shot at winning a Super Bowl ring. That said, I hope the Ravens beat the Patriots tomorrow and then the Super Bowl. It’s the best way to ride off in the sunset.

  24. francheyes says: Jan 20, 2013 12:04 AM

    @Mr. Wright

    Wow, way too much thought on this

  25. taintedsaints2009 says: Jan 20, 2013 12:25 AM

    Please please please go back to 93x morning show! It’s just not the same without you.

  26. evilmajortom says: Jan 20, 2013 12:31 AM

    He sounds jealous to me. Just because he says he doesn’t want attention it doesn’t mean he secretly doesn’t crave it. Someone better give Matt Birk a parade.

  27. golforepar says: Jan 20, 2013 12:44 AM

    Harvard grad. When Birk played with the Vikings, any time they called time out. Mike Tice, Daunte, Cullpepper, AND Matt Birk would come to the sideline and discuss what to do next! Since Birk is rare, thats why I always wished he played for the Packers. And I as huge fan of the game will miss him! Did I say Birk was a Harvard grad?

  28. etrof says: Jan 20, 2013 1:05 AM

    Gentleman first, athlete second. Cheers to men like this upholding the NFLs image.

  29. hurrayforyogapants says: Jan 20, 2013 1:07 AM

    Ridiculous that the Vikes let him go. We are going to be using the Birk Curse as the excuse why we’ve never won the Super Bowl 20 years from now…

  30. johnnytarr says: Jan 20, 2013 1:30 AM

    I used to like him but then he rubbed me the wrong way when he would make statements about teammates not putting the team first 7 when it came down to playing or having surgery when their was a choice he didn’t put off the surgery. Then since he couldn’t handle Childress he left. He had every right to do what he did but he should not have opened his mouth before.

  31. bengalskuta82 says: Jan 20, 2013 1:40 AM

    Good choice of words..Hopefully that will generate some attention toward yourself..Yeah Mark you have no choice but to accept the fact that you will quietly disappear..Not a good time for you because Ray is going to be too much for you if you to get some attention..so once again good choice of words

  32. fuglyflorio says: Jan 20, 2013 4:00 AM

    Of course the other difference is that no one cares if he retires.

  33. iluvbears says: Jan 20, 2013 5:56 AM

    Nice guy, great player. BUT IMO, he single-handedly whined Randy Moss out of Minnesota back in the day. If Birk hadn’t been so vocal re: Randy’s foibles every time something popped up, I feel there would have been a good chance that Moss may have stuck around, assuming Red McCombs would cough up the big chunk of change he was due under contract in 2005. I think if Birk had kept the criticism more in-house, the media would have had less to harp on regarding Randy. With less negative press baggage hanging around Randy neck, I am sure that Zygi would have demanded to Red in no uncertain terms that Randy had to be on the team for Zygi to buy it. Oh well. I hope Birk has a great life, no matter if he continues to play or retires. After all, he did play center at a high level his years in Minny.

  34. elmaxoh says: Jan 20, 2013 6:30 AM

    Smart and humble guy , no need to dance like a fool in the middle of the field.

  35. jpb12 says: Jan 20, 2013 8:15 AM

    Quality guy, good teammate. But just like Ray… he’s now too old. Watch last year’s playoff game tape vs Patriots. He helped make Wilfork the Player of the game.

    Not sure why his coaches leave him one on one with big DT’s. The pocket collapses on Flacco when that happens.

  36. 69allday says: Jan 20, 2013 8:32 AM

    In his last season with the Vikes I lived across the street from the school his kids went to. One day, he was coming out of the school, and my kids saw him. They ran out saying Mr. Birk! Mr. Birk! I was at work at the time, but he was gracious enough to sign a hat my daughter had, and take pictures with my wife and kids. Truly a class act. I’m not a fan of the Ravens, but I hope they win it all for Birk, and then he can come home to Minnesota!

  37. brstevens says: Jan 20, 2013 8:51 AM

    Nice guy. Smart guy but gets bulldozed by good NT’s. Honestly, nobody wanted him back in 2012.

    I don’t know who this nobody guy is, but if he knew what he was talking about Birk wouldn’t be the starting C for a NFL playoff team.

  38. benroethlisberger7 says: Jan 20, 2013 9:24 AM

    6 rings

  39. wikidpissah says: Jan 20, 2013 9:38 AM

    Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 19, 2013 10:55 PM

    I always wonder about the mental psyche and insecurities of people who have a problem with vibrant and brash personalities.

    =================================

    There’s a difference between vibrant and “Hey everybody! Look at me!” personalities.

  40. undeadjesus says: Jan 20, 2013 11:16 AM

    I see there’s a couple fellow Vikings fans here who have their info mixed up regarding Birk’s exit from Minnesota. Birk CHOSE to leave the Vikings, primarily because he disliked Childress. The Vikings made him an offer and Birk took the deal with Baltimore instead (and I don’t think it was for much more money, if at all). True, the Vikings probably low-balled him but it all comes down to Birk ultimately choosing to go elsewhere and not because the Vikings “got rid of him”

    I was upset to see him go because he was a solid C for many years and a good smart guy, but clearly back then the team saw what they had with John Sullivan and wanted to start his development.

  41. wisdomnfl says: Jan 20, 2013 11:17 AM

    He is a good player. A bit dirty at times with the low blocks on defenders, but that tactic is legal.

  42. beedubyatoo says: Jan 20, 2013 11:55 AM

    Hey redfield.

    A part of you doesn’t want to have Flacco as a SB winning qb? Are you longing for the days of Tony Banks and Trent Dilfer, and the 2000 SB won by defense and special teams? Not going to work so well if the Ravens are down by 2 scores with 5 minutes to play.

  43. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 20, 2013 12:45 PM

    francheyes says: Jan 20, 2013 12:04 AM

    @Mr. Wright

    Wow, way too much thought on this
    ————

    Not really, it was a passing thought; one of thousands per day. But not the first time I’ve broached this topic when it comes to this type of thing.

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