The Baltimore Ravens are currently the embodiment of a classic Super Bowl run. They struggled towards the end of the season, but propelled by the sudden announcement that Ray Lewis, their franchise face for the last 15 years, is retiring whenever the season ends, the Ravens are tapping into something specials to see if they can’t send old Ray out on a high note.
While the Ray Lewis story is the headline, the sappy, almost scripted tug on your heart string moments keep rolling in. First we learned that Peyton Manning waited two hours to congratulate Ray Lewis on winning, then today we learned that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti tried to re-create his own “Win one for the Gipper” moment with head coach John Harbaugh.
With the Ravens trailing the Broncos on Saturday, Bisciotti sent a text message to the head coach that harkens back to the clichéd “I know you won’t get this right away…” messages. Basically, Bisciotti sent Harbaugh a message saying that win or lose he was proud of how far his team had come and how well they had played.
“I’ve never texted you during a game,” Harbaugh read from his phone. “We are down, 35-28. And I think it’s the best game I’ve ever seen us in the playoffs since 2000. Win or lose, I am so proud of the team and proud of you.”
- Text Message from Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti to John Harbaugh
I’ll pause a minute to let you grab a tissue.
After the game, Harbaugh noted that the message was special and it represents why Bisciotti is so beloved by his players and the people that work for him.
“I’m not going to say on his deathbed, but he was really sick,” Harbaugh said. “He couldn’t get up and move around at all. . . . It was just something I thought the team needed to hear coming from him. He’s a great leader. Our players love him.”
Sticking exactly with the script, Baltimore’s magical postseason run has carried them to an AFC Championship rematch with the New England Patriots, a team that beat the Ravens last year thanks to a missed field goal. This time around, the story almost writes itself, as the rematch is one to end almost all rematches.
Tom Brady, who has more than enough Super Bowls, is playing the role of the villain trying to end this little run the Ravens are on. Ray Lewis is the anti-hero who has as many people rooting for him as they do against him.
It’ll be tough to top the double overtime thriller we had last week in Denver, but if the Ravens have any magical texts left, they’ll need to send them all on Sunday.