Sunday, January 27, 2013


Say this about Ray Lewis, the man knows how to author the big finish. Oh, sure,
he'll put the exclamation point on a brilliant football career when he plays in
the Super Bowl, the final game of a 17-year journey that saw him become a
Hall of Fame linebacker.

But when Sunday arrives and the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco
49ers, I'm half-expecting Lewis to close his eyes and make the roof of the Louisiana
Superdome disappear. After all, the All-Pro linebacker has developed a very
open and powerful relationship with God and probably wants to ensure he has
a better view of the game.

Lewis became a born-again Christian in 2006, but the way he's acting now,
you might think he was actually sitting at the end of the table during the Last
Supper of Jesus Christ. I don't want to take the Lord's name in vain, but what
the hell is going on here?

I think it's great that Lewis, who escaped a double-murder charge in 2000, has
found God. I respect that 100 percent. But why all of a sudden has he become
the man to carry the message of his Lord and Savior. Why is he doing it in such
a public forum? Since he wasn't playing very much this year, did Tim Tebow
anoint Lewis to rise and preach his message at the pulpit?

Many people crucified Tebow last year for using football as a platform to
promote his at faith, but not many people seem to be as vociferous in their
criticism of Lewis this season. Tebow used to start every post-game interview
by saying, "I just want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." When
Lewis was interviewed after being the Denver Broncos, he said, "God is great."
He is starting to look like Joel Osteen with eye black and knit cap.

Fans and opposing players mocked Tebow with "Tebowing". Nobody made fun
of Lewis after he prayed to his Lord and Savior at midfield after the Ravens beat
the Patriots last Sunday. Why is that? Because Tebow couldn't break a pane of
glass with one of his throws while Lewis could part a sea of blockers and
make bone-jarring hits?

Is this display of faith by Lewis the final phase of one of the most incredible
image transformations in the history of the game? After Lewis was involved
in that double-murder case in Atlanta, many people tagged him as another thug
from Miami that, well, got away with murder. But few people think of him
that way now. He is Ray Lewis, unquestioned leader and first ballot Hall of Famer.

Lewis is set up to be the most popular player during Super Bowl week. He'll be
asked questions about that night in Atlanta 13 years ago and probably grilled
about his faith. ESPN, who reportedly has a deal signed with Lewis for him to
be one of his analysts next year, has already done multiple features on Lewis over
the past week.

He is the heart and soul of not just the Ravens defense, but the entire organization.
Lewis is the face of the franchise and apparently, the new face of born-again Christians.
Despite what Merril Hoge says, Tim Tebow is real. He's been supporting and promoting
his faith since he was about 15 years. It's not an act.

I'm not sure I can say the same thing about Lewis. Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o
duped many of us by building and portraying images that were far different than what
they actually are.

Has Lewis duped us as well.?

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