Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis will play the final game of his career in in the Super Bowl next Sunday, the final chapter of a Hall of Fame-career.
The 13-time Pro Bowler and two-time defensive player of the year has inspired his team through the postseason and it would be more than an incredible story for him to go out on top.
In the way stand the San Francisco 49ers, who will do anything in their power to prevent Lewis from winning a Super Bowl in his final NFL season.
Despite that, the Niners have tremendous respect for Lewis and his accomplishments throughout his career.
“He is one of the icons and he is going to be a legend of this game,” said safety Dashon Goldson.”I can’t express the amount of impact that he has made on a lot of guys just as a football player.”
Lewis is well-known for displaying his emotions on the field, and has a ritual before each game where he dances after coming out of the tunnel.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick claims he has never met Lewis, but added “his intensity that he brings to the game and the passion that he plays with is very admirable.”
Lewis, a seven-time All-Pro selection, draws attention from opponents based on his name alone. There would be little argument against the opinion that he is the greatest linebacker of all-time.
“My rookie year I played against him,” recalls offensive tackle Joe Staley. “I remember blocking him one play and I had a block where I was like ‘Holy crap, it is Ray Lewis. I just blocked Ray Lewis.’
Staley will be handed the task of slowing down Lewis in the Super Bowl, an unenviable task.
Regardless of the team that you are rooting for in the Super Bowl, you have to respect the career and accomplishments that Lewis has accumulated. Very few players can draw the kind of admiration from the opposing team like Lewis can.
*All quotes obtained from an NFL press release.