Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis is known for many things. Lewis is known for his diligence as being a student of the game, a hard-working, committed athlete, a hard-hitter, a devoted Christian, strong-willed, an encourager, a motivated speaker, and is labeled as a future first-ballot Hall of Fame.
Perhaps, Lewis maybe recognized more for his signature “squirrel” dance. It’s ugly, but it is extremely popular. Reportedly, when the Ravens are introduced for Super Bowl XLVII to face the San Francisco 49ers Feb. 3, Lewis will not do the dance that sets – Baltimore – on fire. If it’s true that Lewis won’t dance, it will be a foolish two-step move.
Number 52 should have his grass patch laid out for him at the entrance of the tunnel, with his song “Hot In Herre” (performed by rap artist Nelly) blasting through the speakers and get down one last time, for good.
And here are the five reasons why:
5. Lewis’ Accountability
Frankly, Lewis’ passion and discipline got the Ravens’ defensive in sync at the right time. During his absence, the Ravens’ defense lacked discipline and missed important assignments in contests that they should have had more control of. Lewis did not play his best prior to his injury, when he partially torn his triceps. Nevertheless, when Lewis is on the field, he holds his supporting cast accountable to play with discipline. Since his return, the Ravens’ defense is playing their best ball of the season.
4. He’s the Super Bowl’s Star Headliner
The Super Bowl is an event, first, with the bright lights, fireworks, celebrities and the partying fans in the stands. Before the real game begins, the show must continue as long as it can, and Lewis is a part of the event as a headliner.
3. His Teammates Want To See Him Dance
Knowing a few days prior to their Wild-Card opener against the Indianapolis Colts that Lewis was going to retire at season’s end, his teammates wanted to send the 13-time Pro Bowler out in style with another ring. Lewis’ dance, in itself, is a part of the Ravens’ team. When Lewis walked onto the field at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and dance, it signaled to the Ravens that it’s time to play football as the leg slides, knee lifts and the fist jab motivated the team. With all the hype surrounding Super Bowl week in New Orleans, the experience has been surreal to the players. Lewis’ dance will help put his teammates in the right frame of mind.
2. The Ravens’ Fan Base
Ravens’ fans love the 10-second dance step, which help set the mood for them, similar to the players. Fan support will be huge for the Ravens come Sunday, as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will turn into M&T Bank Stadium. Lewis’ dance is a part Baltimore, similar to crabcakes. It’s not often that Charm City, the little town between New York and Washington D.C., is featured on the world grand stage. The introductory dance will set the tone for the fans to back their team in the biggest sporting event of the year, on the largest platform – the world.
1. It’s Lewis’ Moment
Former NFL wide receiver Amani Toomer is tired of Lewis’ antics and Tedy Bruschi feels that Lewis should not do his dance during his introduction. When they participated in their respective Super Bowl teams, they came out as a team. Bruschi believes Lewis’ dance will take away from the Ravens’ accomplishment of getting to the Super Bowl. Not to be disrespectful, but the reason why Toomer and Bruschi came out with their team as a squad because no one really don’t want to see them individually.
Lewis is will never get this opportunity of a lifetime again, and if it was not for him, the Ravens would not be in the Super Bowl. For that brief moment in time, Lewis has earned the right to celebrate himself. He gives so much of himself to others and his introductory is his moment. Clearly, if the Ravens want to keep things normal, Lewis’ dance is the norm.