Remember when Ray Lewis gave a rousing pep talk to the Stanford basketball team last year (thus inspiring them to win the NIT championship)? After hearing about Lewis’s torn right triceps, the team recorded its own series of you-can-do-it to inspire (and thank) the Ravens linebacker. It’s not quite as loud and heartwarming as Lewis’s speech, but then again, there’s only one Ray Lewis.
You think you know how offensive Twitter can get, and then you see the now infamous pair of micro-missives from Baltimore-residing Patriots fan Katie Moody sent after Raven Torrey Smith helped his team deliver a narrow victory over New England on Sunday, hours after learning of his brother’s death in a motorcycle accident.
Sure, I’m a fan of planking and tebowing, but when it comes to meaningless, low-tech human spectacle, I prefer good old-fashioned streaking. Fans at the Ravens game on Sunday got a dose of a clothed, caped version of the time-honored tradition. (The Sun‘s coverage of the incident called the man “semi-nude,” but “bare-chested” is more accurate.)
Check out this Madden commercial in the guise of a mockumentary trailer on the “friendship” between Paul Rudd, the heartthrob of Judd Apatow movies, and our own Ray Lewis. (Rudd claims he came up with the moves for Ray’s famous touchdown dance. Really? No, not really.)
For a more serious look at Number 52, watch “A Football Life: Ray Lewis” at the NFL Channel. Here’s a link to the segment on his life as a father, which shows the part when, as Matt Vensel put it in his review in the Baltimore Sun, “[Lewis] screams like a girl at a Justin Bieber concert as his oldest son, Ray III, runs for a long touchdown in a high school football game.”
“You have to wonder whether age is catching up to them,” an ESPN blogger wrote about the Baltimore Ravens defense earlier this year. In a sport where most players’ professional careers only span a couple of seasons, the Ravens have several players with more than a decade of experience. At 37, Ray Lewis is practically old at 37. (Kidding. Mostly.) But the Ravens are hardly the oldest team in the NFL. They are, however, the fattest.
Ray Lewis, Haioti Ngata, Terrrell Suggs and John Harbaugh were at Art Modell’s bedside Wednesday night before the former Ravens owner died. Before he left, Lewis whispered a final message.
“I will always keep that between me and him because it is a son talking to a father. That’s the way I looked at it from the moment I started whispering in his ear because that’s what he always used to do to me,” said Lewis, choking up several times. “It’s hard to keep talking about someone who loved you that much. It’s like you have to keep a man like that lifted up because when you see that time closing, that you know physically that you will never see him again. That part of it, you let it take care of itself. Everything that I said in his ear, he knew came from my heart. I loved the man dearly.”
There will be a public viewing of Modell at M & T Stadium from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. tomorrow.
When I think of a Ravens game (which I don’t often do), I imagine 40-somethings adding Budweiser to their beer guts around a grill in the stadium parking lot, or some guy covered in purple paint beating his chest. I’ve always considered football, like baseball and any other sport short of field hockey or dressage, largely a man’s game – for both the players and the fans. Some part of me knew that was stupid, but it wasn’t until today, when I went onto this new website bmorechix.com, that that bit of ignorance was fully slapped out of me.
Maybe one of the greatest things about the free market is that nearly everything can be assigned a monetary value, and so everything can be perfectly ranked. Take sports teams, sure there are standings you can follow throughout the course of a season, but you haven’t really judged the value of a team until Forbes determines the fair market price.
After that heartbreaking near-miss in the playoffs last season, the Ravens are “turning over every stone, looking at everything in our program, to find any way to get better,” says coach John Harbaugh. Cue a cute montage of Joe Flacco & co. lifting weights, sprinting down the field, wearing leggings and doing yoga… and sleeping?
For years, coaches have been working with the idea that what players do off the field has a huge impact on their performance on the field — hence diet and scheduling tweaks. Combine that with the fact that it’s easier to do your job (even if your job is to knock over 300-pound Steelers) when you’re well-rested, and you get the Ravens’ possible new sleep schedule. After considering sleep studies by the U.S. military, Harbaugh is paying new attention to how his players rest up — and it might make all the difference.