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Ray Lewis wanted to give you a last chance to thank him

Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XLVII Media Availability Getty Images

You’ve got to hand it to Ray Lewis.

He has so successfully sold you Ray Lewis for so long, that he feels like he owes it to you to have a chance to tell Ray Lewis how much you appreciate Ray Lewis.

During his press conference Wednesday, the Ravens linebacker said part of the reason he announced his plan to retire was to make sure there was an opportunity to properly celebrate him.

For you.

“I’ve watched many people on how they retire, and when they retire,” Lewis said. “I had not just an obligation to myself, but I had an obligation to my teammates and I had an obligation to my city – that I did not want to end the season and then say, ‘I’m gone.’ I’ve invested too much time into Baltimore, into my teammates and into the organization to ever just walk out like that.

“I believe that you should give everybody a fair chance to say their goodbyes. Playing that last game in Baltimore, announcing it the way I did, and knowing that it would be my last ride. Knowing that it would be my last time in M&T [Bank Stadium], it was one of the most amazing feelings ever. Just being able to appreciate that moment and not get to the end of the season – whenever the road stops – and say, ‘Oh, I’m done. I’m never coming back again.’

“I would have robbed a lot of people of those last goodbyes for me and them. That is why I did it that way.”

Oh.

As long as it wasn’t a shameless attention-grab before he begins a broadcasting career, or a transparent attempt to motivate a team that feeds off his particular schtick, that’s OK.

Lewis is an incredible player, an invaluable leader to his team and a cornerstone of Baltimore sports culture.

He also apparently has no idea what he sounds like sometimes.

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71 Responses to “Ray Lewis wanted to give you a last chance to thank him”
  1. spellingcops says: Jan 30, 2013 3:14 PM

    Just go away Ray.

  2. packfaninpackland says: Jan 30, 2013 3:15 PM

    Good Lord, what an ego-maniac !

  3. stigman2012 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:16 PM

    Um…thanks?

  4. crankyricheisen says: Jan 30, 2013 3:16 PM

    What did he say wrong again?

  5. marvin49 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:17 PM

    So. Sick. Of. Ray. Lewis.

  6. mataug says: Jan 30, 2013 3:18 PM

    good lord

  7. ravioles says: Jan 30, 2013 3:19 PM

    He was speaking to Baltimore fans not some national hack like yourself. We understand.

  8. kidpresentable says: Jan 30, 2013 3:19 PM

    This guy is the worst elements of Brett Favre, Reggie White, and O.J. Simpsons all wrapped into one.

  9. thelongestgoodbye says: Jan 30, 2013 3:19 PM

    Why don’t you ask the almost 80,000 in attendance if they appreciated it?

  10. nomad1177 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:21 PM

    Is this real or is this an article from The Onion?

  11. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 30, 2013 3:21 PM

    Yup Baltimore really deserves this ego maniac…ssshhh just go away already. His appeal says everything about “Charm City”..it’s a moral desert..

  12. charliework says: Jan 30, 2013 3:22 PM

    The more he talks, the less I listen.

  13. tyler200829 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:22 PM

    How about you become educated on what you’re waiting about. How do guys like you even get jobs? Did you watch how lifeless the Ravens played at the end of the season? They needed a reason to play with passion, and he provided that. Go find a real story bud

  14. it's all bs says: Jan 30, 2013 3:23 PM

    Ray…ray…..please just shut up……

  15. anyonebutbrady says: Jan 30, 2013 3:24 PM

    For the tiny segment of NFL fans that Ray Ray hadn’t rubbed the wrong way…You’re welcome…

  16. hmink96 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:25 PM

    This gives credence to the notion that the Media builds someone up, just to completely tear them down the next week.

  17. wheresmypantss says: Jan 30, 2013 3:26 PM

    Just go away Ray.
    ============

    Did Ray Lewis post this article? Nope.

  18. vikesfan320 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:27 PM

    Ironic that now Ray Lewis is concerned about giving people a chance to say their good-byes…

  19. ryman1566 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:29 PM

    Just retire already so we can hear about your failed drug test in 6 months or so

  20. ballinsohard says: Jan 30, 2013 3:29 PM

    I was at his last game at M&T Bank, it was surreal. I’m glad we had the chance to properly thank him and celebrate what he has meant to our city.

    Everyone outside of Baltimore has no clue what he has meant to Baltimore, they just want to hate him because he has been so good for so long and they don’t know the facts of the murder case.

    His service and volunteering does not get reported. I agree he talks too much sometimes, but Baltimore fans appreciate him going out the way did. No one else will understand it

  21. stillers6 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:30 PM

    As a Steeler fan, who will be happy to see #52, hang em up I understand exactly what he means and have no problem with it.

  22. jasndc75 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:31 PM

    while I dont care for Ray at all, I actually kind of agree with him. I know a couple of my all time greats that retired in the off season, and I wish they had announced earlier, to make sure I caught one of their last games in person, etc.

    Totally dumb to actually say that out loud, though, lol.

  23. warman31337 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:32 PM

    Ray does not mention anything about giving anyone a chance to thank him, he says he wanted to give his city a chance to say goodbye.

    Will you guys please get back to posting relevant news about the NFL without putting words in someone’s mouth?

    Thanks

  24. dwjmu84 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:33 PM

    This was between Ray and all of us Ravens fans, and it happened weeks ago. It was never intended for anyone else. It’s pathetic how obsessed PFT has become with the anti-ray lewis “stories” lately. You guys are the ones manifesting and indeed sustaining this stuff….nobody else!

  25. tonyinmd says: Jan 30, 2013 3:36 PM

    The people he is talking about getting their chance to see and thank him are the BALTIMORE RAVENS fans in their HOME stadium.

    And yes, WE thank him for it.

    That was not a comment directed at the general NFL fan.

    Good lord, maybe if 100 of you media guys didn’t flock to him every time he walks by, you wouldn’t be upset with the Ray overload.

    It’s your fault Darri, Mike and all of the rest of the writers here and in other outlets.

  26. 12strikes says: Jan 30, 2013 3:36 PM

    At least he did not declare himself the best there ever was.

  27. steelerfansareretards says: Jan 30, 2013 3:37 PM

    The “Us Against the World” mentality is now in full effect thanks to the media this week.

  28. bleedburgandyandgold says: Jan 30, 2013 3:39 PM

    Im not a ravens fan or do I live in Baltimore but im sure most of em appreciated him letting them say their goodbyes like that in one last home game I don’t see anything wrong with it but then I’m not looking for a reason to hate people constantly

  29. footballgod87 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:39 PM

    I love it when the media forces players to answer dumb questions over and over, and then complains about the answers

  30. kaieye says: Jan 30, 2013 3:40 PM

    I grew up on Ray Lewis, one of my earliest pro football memories was the jumbotron focusing on his eyes on his helmet on 4th and long against some team I don’t remember. I don’t remember the outcome of the game, just Ray on the jumbotron.

    So Thank You Ray for giving us one last time to celebrate your career with you and be able to witness history in knowing this was your last ride.

    If you aren’t a Ravens fan, you probably won’t understand, but every single person in the stands that day came to see Rays entrance and Rays last game on that field. If we didn’t know that was his last game, it would have completely changed the whole moment.

    THANK YOU RAY!

  31. flaccosunibrow says: Jan 30, 2013 3:40 PM

    Whatever happened to just reporting football news? You continue to spin Ray’s words instead of just being a journalist. Let the man enjoy his last ride and stop putting your own opinion into everything I mean come on this is just ridiculous.

  32. dragonfly99 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:41 PM

    But he’s not going away. Coming soon to a television near you. Thanks again ESPN (unless you’re like me and stopped watching ESPN football coverage)

  33. wheresmypantss says: Jan 30, 2013 3:42 PM

    But what I have said is this… Raven’s fans understand exactly what he is trying to say. He isn’t saying this for the sake of people who hate him. He is saying it for the Ravens fans so that they weren’t blindsided by his retirement.

    If it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t have gotten an extra chance to see him again before his retirement, and I would have regretted it.

    This is the kind of thing that everyone who dislikes him will twist to make haters hate him more. But realistically, Ray Lewis fans know exactly what he is saying, and won’t find it anything but an awesome gesture.

  34. csndrew says: Jan 30, 2013 3:43 PM

    In fairness, he plays in a city that also was home to one of the phoniest “humble” stars in sports history, Cal Ripken Jr.

  35. lovefootball4life says: Jan 30, 2013 3:44 PM

    How about you guys look for a positive story to write about Ray Lewis. Your personal commentary in this article is one of the worst biases I’ve ever read. Ok, you don’t get it, fine. Others do. If you actually thought about it and thought about how other HOF players ended their careers you’d actually realize this is good for the sport and it gives an interesting story line to the Super Bowl.

  36. it's all bs says: Jan 30, 2013 3:48 PM

    12strikes says:
    Jan 30, 2013 3:36 PM
    At least he did not declare himself the best there ever was.

    ____________________

    hey the week’s not over yet…..give him time!!

  37. ravensgrl says: Jan 30, 2013 3:49 PM

    His announcement was appreciated by all the fans in Baltimore and fans of the Ravens. I’m glad he announced his retirement before his last home game, not at the end of the season.

    The venom on this site towards Ray and the Ravens is pathetic. Isn’t there another team playing in the superbowl? Don’t see many posts about them…

  38. galatianssixnine says: Jan 30, 2013 3:50 PM

    Sounds like someone’s jealous.

    This is a reach.

  39. nineroutsider says: Jan 30, 2013 3:50 PM

    I know you all are going to club me over the head for this, but this is the only thing that you reported today about Ray that I fully understand; it makes sense to me.

    Football is a spectator sport and he knows it. He knows that Ravens fans want to send him out the right way and he gave them the time to do it. I don’t have a problem with this, but I also understand how some of you think he is an egomaniac as he is walking a thin line. In this case, I think his heart is in the right place but there is little doubt that he loves the attention and we love to give it: good or bad.

    Let the Raven fans (and football fans in general)send him off in peace instead of nit-picking everything he says and does to death over the next few days.

  40. rpiotr01 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:51 PM

    At least he won’t do this for 4 years like Favre did.

  41. laxgolie19 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:52 PM

    Ray does have a knack for overstating things, but I agree with his core message. As a fan of the franchise since its inception, I have always loved and considered Ray my favorite player. I love the fact that he told us he was going to retire so that Baltimore could show him how much he meant to us. It also allowed me to really enjoy these last games, as it truly is the end of an era for us Baltimore fans. Additionally, it gave me the additional kick in the butt to buy tickets to the Super Bowl.

    It is a lot easier to say goodbye to someone in season than if they retire after. The only way Baltimore could truly show Ray their love for him, in a way that they city itself would feel good about, was the last game at M & T. Additionally, the only way his teammates could send him out in a way they would feel good was by taking him to the Super Bowl and hopefully winning it all.

  42. trippymane says: Jan 30, 2013 4:09 PM

    Not a ravens fan but this man is a real insparation to me and alot of my teamates. Never give up and worj hard and you can do anything. #truelegend

  43. ravenator says: Jan 30, 2013 4:10 PM

    Thank you for the great memories Ray Lewis. Baltimore loves you. Now go get one more superbowl and let the haters really hate.

  44. catquick says: Jan 30, 2013 4:10 PM

    That is an overly cynical rendering of events

  45. gbpbacker84 says: Jan 30, 2013 4:12 PM

    The headline makes it seem much worse than the actual quotes in context. All the negative comments can never change the fact that he has been a special player to follow. Instead of giving respect for 2 road playoff wins that nobody saw coming, the media is trying to dig as deep as possible to portray him in a goofy or negative way this week. Doesn’t matter, he’s riding off into the sunset with his 2nd ring come Sunday night.

  46. packfaninpackland says: Jan 30, 2013 4:15 PM

    To; wheresmypantss says:
    Jan 30, 2013 3:26 PM

    Just go away Ray.
    ============
    Did Ray Lewis post this article? Nope.
    ============
    Did Favre ever post the 900 articles on him, either ??? Nope.

    But I’ll bet you were among the ones complaining about those every time !

  47. steelerben says: Jan 30, 2013 4:18 PM

    It would have been nice if the Steelers could have had the same kind of goodbye for Ward, so I understand the rational behind it. But you don’t come out and say it. It has no chance of sounding anything but self-congratulatory.

  48. conormacleod says: Jan 30, 2013 4:21 PM

    Just in case somebody outside of Baltimore still actually liked this guy…

  49. solomon151 says: Jan 30, 2013 4:30 PM

    tyler200829 says:
    Jan 30, 2013 3:22 PM
    How about you become educated on what you’re waiting about. How do guys like you even get jobs? Did you watch how lifeless the Ravens played at the end of the season? They needed a reason to play with passion, and he provided that. Go find a real story bud
    ———————————————————————————–
    Umm, wait. Did you just question someone’s education?? Please reread your first sentence. Pot meet kettle. They needed more of a reason to play with passion, besides the millions they get for playing the game? Really

  50. jblandbeardown says: Jan 30, 2013 4:36 PM

    So can I enjoy watching Ray play his game but not listen to his game? Am I hater than? He was a great player, great motivator of men on his own team. But I prefer MLB to play not talk.
    Funny how certain comments get removed: if 49s score 30+, would you say Ravens D would of got “pistol” whipped? Does that get flagged because guns are not allowed to be used in speech? Surprised Niners can call the offense “pistol” Reason I say this, everytime I reference Pistol my comments vanish.

  51. coliv1977 says: Jan 30, 2013 4:39 PM

    I get what he was trying to say, but it came out REALLY bad

  52. it's all bs says: Jan 30, 2013 4:40 PM

    It if was TRULY meant for the fans in Baltimore why say anything about it to the NATIONAL MEDIA….Ray Ray as usual just has to make the SB all about him…..SMDH!!!

  53. mrp2003 says: Jan 30, 2013 4:43 PM

    Shame this great player isn’t a role model. Just wonder what he will do when people start to forget about him and his name is not in the news for sports. Hopefully he will grow up a little bit before he gives his speech at Canton. A little humility goes over even better when it comes from a great player. We will see what kind of person he is over the next 4 to 5 years. Hopefully for his kids’ sake, he practices what his preaches and is not a total phony

  54. edisbetterthantroy says: Jan 30, 2013 4:43 PM

    Ray, we in Baltimore THANK YOU! I made sure that I made it to the Wild Card game for one reason, and one reason only. Normally, I wouldn’t pay the inlated cost of a ticket to that game….Until Ray announced it was his last time coming out of the tunnel. The city was electric that day and has been since.

    So many Ray/Ravens haters. They’ve been louder than ever lately. Hey haters…you know why? Because the teams and players you support will be watching the game from the same place you will…the couch.

    The more you keep hating and creating more negative noise, the media will continue pumping out these instigative non-stories. Whats funny is that the haters are too stupid to realize that they’re the reason people are still talking about Ray Lewis.

  55. chawk12thman says: Jan 30, 2013 4:45 PM

    Not a Raven Fan but do appreciate hard played football. Have very much enjoyed all the years that Ray gave it his all. Thank you Ray as an NFL Fan.

  56. ryanclark25 says: Jan 30, 2013 4:45 PM

    Another Steeler fan here, no problem either with that, if it’s your last ride Ray, then lets see you ride in style. For 2012 only, ye’re the pride of the AFC North, we’ll settle that next year, but now ye better win this thing. Reed and co deserve a ring, no proper fan can say they don’t. For one night on Sunday, I’m purple. Hopefully we can make a run for 7 next year.

  57. fanofevilempire says: Jan 30, 2013 4:45 PM

    I hope they don’t have to close down the NFL.

  58. cshearing says: Jan 30, 2013 4:53 PM

    You can hate Lewis all you want, your prerogative. But I think he’s right in this case.

    I would always want to give a future HoF’er on my team a good send-off. I think people that do not and announce is a press conference are being more selfish (relatively speaking, mind you, they deserve to do as they wish). They usually just don’t want the attention. Dude, you’re paid to capture our attention.

    Granted, there are always those that only decide to retire well into the off-season, but they don’t get the choice.

  59. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 30, 2013 4:57 PM

    Thank you for the great memories Ray Lewis. Baltimore loves you. Now go get one more superbowl and let the haters really hate.

    16 16 are you telling Ray to play next year in New England ? I am truly surprised…

  60. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Jan 30, 2013 5:00 PM

    Dan Barker says, Thanks, bye. Gooo Niners!

  61. lovefootball4life says: Jan 30, 2013 5:18 PM

    Really like the rational comments from some of the Steeler fans here. Where you guys been all season?

    Steeler fans I know are rooting for the Ravens only to keep the 6th Lombardi away from the Niners. Ravens will come through and we’ll be back slogging it out in the division next year with Steelers still the only team with six championships and Ravens with two.

  62. makicat says: Jan 30, 2013 5:24 PM

    Actually, it’s nice to hear somebody that speak with some thought behind it. 95% of the time, it’s just the mindless rehearsed one liners. He’s right. For true fans of the NFL, it’s nice to have a little time to reflect on the career of a player as he leaves the game.

  63. TD Hawk says: Jan 30, 2013 7:02 PM

    Humility just absorbed a blind side sack into the ribs. ESPN inherits the prize.

  64. purplepunisher says: Jan 30, 2013 7:30 PM

    I am a Vikings fan and have no problem with what he said. I think it makes perfect sense. I hope Adrian Peterson has the same consideration for us Vikings fans when he retires with the all time rushing record.

  65. keakuamai says: Jan 30, 2013 8:24 PM

    If they need Ray’s retirement to motivate them in the post season all I can say it sucks to be them

    Winning ANY game should be all the motivation a pro football player should need

  66. tightend82 says: Jan 30, 2013 9:10 PM

    I get more speechless on Ray Lewis with every passing day and each article devoted to him, by HIM and others….Can he be serious with this latest review of why he chose to announce that this is his last year…..many of us don’t care Ray…Please get a grip, I will loathe the potential of seeing you with ESPN, and will be thrilled and extatic when the 49ers rip you a new one in New Orleans…..Go Away, Please…..

  67. ballinsohard says: Jan 30, 2013 9:18 PM

    All of you people who hate Ray Lewis entertain me. You hate him so much, but you continue to read all of the articles about him and comment about ow much you hate him and read all of the other comments to make sure everyone sees your likes or dislikes.

    Haters gonna hate

  68. mlbbal52 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:17 AM

    What did he say that was wrong? The author of the article made it seem like he did something wrong. Instead of leaving after his final game he wanted to thank his fans himself and for them to see him one last time. I see nothing wrong with this.

  69. watermelon1 says: Jan 31, 2013 3:54 AM

    You’re an idiot, and obviously one of those that holds on to the past for incidents which played out in court and you really have no idea and it really didnt impact you personally or anyone you know… But still you’re mad. And really for no other reason than the guy talks a lot and dances a lot and his team probably beat your team a few times by beating them up defensively instead of simply outscoring them in what most generic football fans want to see these days.

    Bottom line… He did it for BALTIMORE and RAVENS FANS. because they WANT to celebrate for him and with him.

    He’s exactly right that they would have felt kind of cheated if he have no indication and then just came out of the blue in the offseason saying… “I won’t be back.”

    The only way this could realistically be explained as “selfish” is if he plans on coming back… Which it surely doesn’t sound like. He’s not giving “maybes and I don’t knows.” He sounds definitive every time he is asked.

  70. wayconthemexican says: Jan 31, 2013 6:29 AM

    Not a Baltimore fan, but I live in Baltimore. Ray Lewis is the face of the franchise here. Even though the team will be fine without him, the fanbase is so used to having Ray on the roster that they were freaking when he announced his plan to retire. I’ve never seen fanbase so committed to watching someone play their last game.

    It just so happens that the Ravens didn’t lose in Denver when we all.thought they would.

  71. rayswhitesuit says: Jan 31, 2013 6:38 AM

    Without football to keep him busy, watch for the murder rate in Baltimore to rise!

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