Ray Lewis has become known for his pre-game speeches. His ability to motivate his teammates with the spoken word is the stuff of legends. EA Sports even used him and a speech as the intro for last year’s installment of the Madden videogame series.
One former teammate, quarterback Joe Flacco, never really understood it… or what Ray Lewis was saying. The Ray Lewis retirement motivational express did take the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory though.
From the profile of Joe Flacco from ESPN The Magazine’s NFL preview:
“I love Ray, and I love how he always spoke from the heart, but if you listened to those speeches, a lot of them didn’t even make sense. He meant everything he was saying, but I didn’t know what he was talking about 90 percent of the time.”
Let’s test this theory out. Read through this and try to decipher what he is saying.
“Let me tell you something, if tomorrow wasn’t promised, what would you give for today? Forget everything else. Forget everything else. Forget that there was any sunlight left. What would you spend today thinking about? Yourself? Or the man that’s beside you. Or the man that you know you’d give everything in your heart for? We get one opportunity at life. One chance at life to do whatever you gonna do. To lay your foundation and make whatever mark you’re going to make. Whatever legacy you gonna leave. Leave your legacy! And it’s found through effort. Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But effort? Nobody can judge effort ’cause effort is between you and you. Effort ain’t got nothin’ to do with anybody else. So that team that think they ready to see you? They think what they’ve seen on film? They ain’t shown what film shows. Because every day is a new day. Every moment is a new moment. So now you’ve got to go out and show them that I’m a different creature NOW than I was five minutes ago. Because I’m pissed off for greatness. Because if you ain’t pissed off for greatness, that mean you okay with being mediocre. Ain’t no man in here okay with being just basic. So let’s do what we do. Tonight, we ain’t got to worry ’bout taking no breaks. Don’t worry about — [Inaudible due to cheering.]“
Now watch him say it and see if it motivates you.
For what it is worth, Stanford went out and won that game. I guess that means it does work.
His point overall makes sense, but the way he words it is weird. If I had one day left I don’t think I’d be thinking about my teammate, maybe my family. I think it is his delivery that makes it work and motivate his teammates or the recipients of one of his pep talks.
Or maybe it is the confusion that makes them “pissed off for greatness.”