Ray Lewis 1996 Draft Day Pick

Ray Lewis was born on May 15, 1975 in Bartow, Florida. Although Lewis may not be the most well liked player in the NFL, he is surely one of the best. From his middle linebacker position Lewis wreaks havoc on opposing offenses week in and week out. It is safe to say that he is one of the best defensive players in the league due to his hard hits, intensity, strength, and overall speed.

After a successful career at the University of Miami, Lewis was ready to take on the NFL. He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the 26th pick in the first round. Although many teams passed him by on draft day, it is safe to say that they regret this each and every time they have to meet Lewis on the field.

During his time in the league Lewis has won many awards. In 2000 and 2003 he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. This makes him only the sixth player ever to win this award more than once. He was also the MVP of Super Bowl 2000 when he led the Ravens to a victory.

For his career Lewis has amassed 1,838 tackles, 79 pass deflections, 12 fumble recoveries, 23 interceptions, and 28 sacks. He has managed to put up these gaudy numbers in only 148 games. These stats were good enough to earn recognition on the Pro Bowl Team on eight different occasions.

It is safe to say that Lewis will always been known as one of the best middle linebackers to ever play the game. Although he did not come into the NFL with the hype of some other players, he has proved that he is among the cream of the crop. When Lewis finally decides to hang up his spikes for good he can be proud that he left a legacy behind.

NFL Reviews Week 13

Philadelphia over Houston. Michael Vic continued his push towards MVP with another solid performance. The Eagles with all their talent and speed on offense held themselves to 34 points with two more dropped touchdown passes and taking a long halftime by cruising through the 3rd quarter letting the Texans back in the game. The bad news for the Eagles is that Vic got hit hard by a defense that is considered to be the weakest in the league. Vic is not the biggest quarterback in the league but he is stronger than he looks but, many times after getting hit, he got up real slowly. The good news for him and the Eagles is that they have ten days to ice down the bumps and bruises and for Coach Andy Reid to figure out a way to reduce the punishment Vic is receiving. The Eagles badly need a healthy Vic for the stretch run.

The Texans also have an explosive offense but their defense has been their Achilles heel the entire season. That will be the cause of them not winning the division. The Texans do have Andre Johnson and he is now so feared, that even the angry Eagle fans were seen giving him money before the game to help pay for last weeks fine.

Pittsburgh over Baltimore. The Steelers won a game that was a tough and brutal as advertised. It was like old school football where anything goes. Ben Roethlisberger just earned the toughest man in the world title by playing through a broken bone in his foot and getting his beak broken and twisted early in the first quarter. Ouch! Not to mention he had to fight off a blood thirsty Terrell Suggs throughout the game. The Steelers overcame injuries, poor officiating,(Ben was hit in the head and Miller was knocked unconscious were personal foul penalties not called) and the hard hitting Ravens defense to take control of the division. Troy Polamalu’s sack and strip was the games turning point. Polamalu ability to make these kinds of plays is unreal. The Ravens never saw him coming. Isaac Redman’s catch and breaking a tackle was also huge. The Steelers resolve kept them in the game until their big play players made big plays.

The Raven blew a chance to take control of the division and earn a possible first round bye for the playoffs. They battered and bloodied Roethlisberger throughout the game. I’m not sure the Steelers would have ever scored a touchdown had the Joe Flacco not fumble after being hit by Polamalu. It’s easy to look back but how did the Raven’s not see Polamalu lurking at the line of scrimmage? It would have so easy to change to a running play to the other side. It was second and five. There was no reason to pass in that situation. Also Flacco short armed the fourth and two pass. The receiver was wide open. You can’t miss on those opportunities. I can’t fault Harbaugh decision not to attempt a 48 yard field goal with the swirling winds and cold. I can only fault the execution on the pass. Now the Ravens more than likely have hit to the road for the playoffs and that is not going to be easy. The good news is their defense will keep them in the game on road.

Dallas edging Indianapolis. The Cowboys won a game that earlier in the season they would have lost. They made the key plays when they had too and caught a tremendous break when the Colts was penalized for using leverage on a drive late in the fourth. That allowed the Cowboys to score a touchdown they needed. They controlled the clock with over two hundred yards rushing lead by Tashard Choice got turnovers when they needed them. Jon Kitna was solid and did not turn the ball over. Even much maligned kicker David Buehler was made a clutch kick in overtime.

The Colts need this game badly and did not get it. Falling behind 17-0 is never good. The Colts have no running game and Peyton Manning’s four interceptions cost them the game again. Manning is pressing and his footwork is terrible. He is often throwing off his tippy toes and not seeing the entire field. He is also making poor decisions. Even with Manning’s error prone game the Colts still had a chance to win. The leverage penalty on a field goal attempt was just a big as the four interceptions by Manning. The Colts now face an uphill battle just to sneak into the playoffs.

Chicago over Detroit. The Bears just find a way to win close games. It’s just their year. The Lions just find a way to lose close games. It’s not their century.

Green Bay over San Francisco. The Packers won a game in the ugliest uniforms in NFL history. They should be burned right away. The 49ers haven’t beaten a team in cold weather since Joe Montana was quarterback.

Kansas City over Denver. The Chiefs were almost caught looking ahead but escaped with a win. The Broncos have now proven they can lose being boring too.

Atlanta over Tampa Bay. The Falcons and Matt Ryan rally to win another close game. The Buccaneers had this game under control until their old school orange jerseys caused 11 players to miss tackles on a kickoff return for a touchdown by the Falcons.

New Orleans edging Cincinnati. The Saints are so explosive on offense but they needed the Bengals to fall for the never been done before. “Draw you off side with hard snap count” trick.

New York Giants beating Washington. The Giants did what they wanted on offense and defense. The Redskins were inept in every way except they showed up on time.

Minnesota blasting Buffalo. The Vikings proved they can win without Brett Farve. But Farve was there in spirit making Tarvaris Jackson throw interceptions too. The Bills finally had a non gut wrenching lost and looked relieved in the process.

Cleveland edging Miami. The Browns have now won two in a row since for first time this season. Too bad it’s not the win over Miami the city of Cleveland really wanted. The Dolphins are now headed for the always dreaded five hundred season.

Oakland over San Diego. The Raiders beat won a game many thought was impossible since the Chargers haven’t lost in December since 2005. The Chargers must have spent the week checking out the housing market in Los Angeles.

Seattle over Carolina. The Seahawks win allowed the Seahawks to keep their goal of a bowl berth intact. The Panthers are hoping the season ends today so they can have first pick in the draft.

St. Louis over Arizona. The Rams finally ended a losing streak against the Cardinals. Cardinal coach Whisenhunt is finding out it’s hard to win when your quarterbacks is Kurt Warner

Why I Wear An Authentic Ravens Jersey On Monday Nights

Now I am going to tell you why I wear an authentic Ravens jersey when it’s Monday Night Football.

More than ten years ago the Cleveland Browns moved from Cleveland to Baltimore and that was probably the best move the owners could possible have made.

Since the franchise became the Baltimore Ravens, they have won the trophy that all football players want to win – the SuperBowl. As a nice bonus they have also been able to sell more tickets than they ever did before, and the people in Baltimore love them.

Even me likes them and I am not even from Baltimore.

This usually doesn’t happen to me, but I saw them on TV one night when they were down, but they fought back and turned the game around in a way that gave me the chills.

Since that day I have always cheered for the Baltimore Ravens and that’s the reason why I’m wearing my authentic Ravens jersey when watching Monday Night Football.

Does it sound too childish?

When you put a Raven jersey on a fan, this is what happens though. You grow a foot and you feel that you are strong enough to make the Raven’s starting lineup.

“If I only had got the chance, I would have showed them all…”

This is what makes football so beautiful. Men can feel like boys again and you forget about everything else until the game is over.

You are happy.

A Legacy of College Football

Every fan has their own reason for rooting for a particular team. Although geographic location tends to breed fans for the local cities it’s not always the case in pro sports. Often a person has outside reasons for donning the colors of a team other then the one they grew up watching on television. It could be a fondness in youth for a mascot or team colors. It could be the star football player that was drafted to a team outside of your local market. Whatever the reasoning behind which professional sports franchise you root for it’s obvious that people have a million different reasons to explain why their fan-hood is better than the next persons.

However, college football is a much different animal and fans of college football are ravenous fans that don their college football jerseys with a fervor that is unmatched in any other sport. They will paint themselves and wear nothing to a game other than a small thong. They will root in the face of all adversity with the same passion as they would if they were up by fifty points in the third quarter. Tailgating parties have been known to start days before the big game and end days after. It’s tradition and it’s a true battlefield of warriors that spans generations of athletes and scholars alike.

Families go to college, not individuals. To clarify; generations tend to go to the same school so it’s easy to see how college sports can become part of a family’s DNA. They spend generations upon generations learning in the same hallowed halls and cheering on the same battered fields of glory. It’s no wonder that you see so many families passing down their college football jerseys to younger generations. You’ll see more authentic vintage jerseys are college football than you’ll see at any other level of sport. With this type of generational heritage it’s easy to see why college football has a die-hard loyal following that any other sports promoter would kill to have.

When you wake up on that season kick-off Saturday you’ll surely feel a sense of ability. It’s an ability to cheer your team to the national championships. The ability to become part of a snapshot of history that will live on for all of history, as you become the elder sportsman and you indoctrinate your younger generation into the family fold. You’ll pass down your college football jerseys with pride and you’ll regale stories of when you were in those stands, cheering your team to a national championship.

No matter which professional team you root for it will not compare to the passion that you’ll feel for the team that took you to new places as a younger college student. Those were the times of your life and the memories that will mean more to you than any professional ballgame could ever mean.