Former New York Giants WR Amani Toomer pretty much stated what a lot of people want to say about Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis. He’s simply all about himself. When the Ravens defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card Round in Lewis’ last home game, he went to the center of the field on the last play to do his signature dance.
Colts WR Reggie Wayne wasn’t fond of the idea and ripped Lewis for doing it. Wayne was criticized for criticizing Lewis when it wouldn’t have been that way if it were another player. The media talks all the time about being a selfless and team player. Lewis seems to be mostly about self-promotion. However, he’s been applauded as the best team player in football.
Toomer touched on a subject that is touchy for most: he ripped Lewis for trying to be “Mr. Religious.”
“If you want to say you’re Mr. Religious and all of that, have a clean record,” Toomer told USA Today. Toomer is referring to Lewis’ involvement in a nightclub incident in Atlanta back in 2000 that resulted in the deaths of two people.
It is a little unfair to judge Lewis based on that incident, since it isn’t really clear what his exact involvement in the case was. However, I do not remember a time in sports where a guy has pretty much gotten away with something of this magnitude in the media. The murders were brought up in the week leading to the Super Bowl because of its correlation. At the time of the murders, Lewis was in Atlanta for the Super Bowl events and parties.
CBS analyst and former Cincinnati Bengals QB Boomer Esiason touched on it on the pregame show also, stating he did not get the answers he wanted from Lewis’ interview with CBS analyst and former teammate Shannon Sharpe. Lewis danced around the questions Sharpe was asking him, even though Sharpe wasn’t really pressing him like he should’ve been.
Lewis is definitely a first ballot Hall of Famer and probably the best middle linebacker ever. The second ring he has just earned is well deserved and the appropriate way to leave the game on your terms. However, he is all about himself and the acts he pulls in front of cameras to prove he’s a team guy only fools those who wants to be fooled.