All good things come to an end.
Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis, arguably the league’s best, announced his retirement Wednesday after 17 seasons in the NFL. The collective sigh of relief from Pittsburgh Steeler fans could be felt nationwide.
Rest assured, Lewis will make it his business to get his team to the Super Bowl for one last hurrah.
But before Lewis, 37, hangs up his jersey, we compiled a list of facts you may have not known or forgotten about Lewis. Take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of his very high, highs and potentially life and career ending lows.
1-Alternate Career Options
In 1993, a then 189lb Lewis became the Florida state wrestling champion while attending Kathleen High School. Lewis, who has always been revered as one of the NFL’s most dominant LBs, sites wrestling as a key component of his football career.
In 17-seasons and 228 games played, Lewis has been named Defensive Player of the Year, twice, earned the title of Super Bowl MVP, was named first time All Pro seven times and went to the Pro Bowl 13 times. He’s had about 2,000 tackles and is also the only player in NFL history to have more than 40 career sacs and 30 interceptions.
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Following Super Bowls XXXIV, Lewis and friends got into an altercation in an Atlanta night club, which resulted in the stabbing death of two men. Lewis’ attorneys negotiated a plea agreement in which the murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against his friends.
The next year the Ravens made it to Super Bowl XXXV, which resulted in moral outrage from Lewis’ naysayer. Fuel was added to the fire when Lewis received the Super Bowl MVP award.
Lewis started the Ray Lewis 52 Foundation which is a non-profit corporation that tries to provide personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth.
In May 2010, a portion of Baltimore’s North Avenue was renamed “Ray Lewis Way” in honor of number 52.