A Legend in the Making: Inside the Mind of Ray Lewis

Every couple of years, there are only a handful of special players who are come along in the NFL. These players have the ability to change the game or help it evolve. About 12 years ago, the Baltimore Ravens were fortunate enough to add one of these special players to their team. Ray Lewis was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 1996 draft. Lewis made an immediate impact in his first couple of seasons and became the one of the best linebackers in the NFL. However, this individual also faced some hardships in their career.

From injuries and losing seasons to accolades and awards, this person has seen it all. Ray Lewis is a very passionate player; however this individual is also very smart and has a high football i. q. To better understand this individual, or any athlete, it’s best to start from the beginning. So I decided to focus on these aspects of this person’s life: 1. Biographical 2. Personal 3. Professional 4. Mental/Emotional Lewis is known throughout the entire National Football League. He has a lot of younger men that look up to him and come to him for advice.

It’s interesting to see what type of mental state he is in. Biographical Ray Lewis was actually born Ray Jenkins on May 15, 1975 in the small town of Lakeland, Florida to Buffy Jenkins and his father Raymond Jackson. At the time of his birth, his father was 19 and his mother 15. Jackson then had his son’s given name changed to Ray Jackson when Ray was just an infant. Raymond Jackson Sr. abandoned his family when his son was just a child. His mother, Sunseria Smith, had a friend in the military named Ray Lewis and she asked to borrow his name (Unger, 2009).

Ray then decided to take his name because this man had been there for him more than his own biological father. At Kathleen High School, Ray Lewis was a bonfire superstar. He played both linebacker and running on the football team and with him as their star player Kathleen High School won numerous city and district titles. After a successful high school career, Lewis went on to play football for the University of Miami. He made an immediate impact starting the last 5 games of his freshman season. That season Lewis was named to the freshman All-American team.

After his freshman season things couldn’t get any better, Lewis then went on to receive 1st team All-American and All-Big East honors. After his junior season at Miami, Lewis then decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft. Personal Ray Lewis was raised in a single-parent home. After his father left him, it was just him and his mother. So, he had to be the “man” of the house at a young age. That situation in his childhood basically prepared him to be a father to his own children. Lewis has four children of his own that must raise.

He’s doing it differently from the way he was raised. Unlike his father, Lewis is very heavily involved in the lives of his children. Ray Lewis is a special person, and however, he is not perfect. Lewis had a fearsome strength of mind to succeed as an athlete during his younger years. Just like any other human, Lewis has made stupid mistakes during his life. Whether it was on the field or off the field, he has definitely made some mistakes. In January 2000, Lewis was charged with first-degree murder last night for the deaths of two men outside a nightclub in Atlanta after a Super Bowl party.

This incident really damaged Lewis’s image for a short period of time. However, Lewis’s attorney arranged with prosecutors to dismiss the murder charges if Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice in exchange for him testifying against his friends that he was with that night Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting. From this point on, Lewis’ life had drastically changed. It seemed as if he had become more spiritual after going through this ordeal. You can also see that Lewis became a better leader and he was much more accountable for his actions.

With his NFL career going well and his popularity soaring, Lewis decided to try his hand at the restaurant business. In 2005, he opened a restaurant in Canton as a part of a partnership with Full Moon Bar-B-Que of Birmingham, Alabama. The restaurant closed in 2008 for undisclosed reasons. Lewis also earned his degree in Business Administration at the University of MD in the spring of 2004. After leaving the University of Miami earlier, he promised his mother that he would return to school and obtain degree. Professional

Ray Lewis is considered by many to be the greatest linebacker to ever the play in the National Football League. His numbers can prove it also. Coming out of college in his junior year, many scouts considered him too small to play the linebacker position in the NFL. However, he proved all of his doubters wrong with consistent successful seasons. Lewis had a very successful rookie campaign, he lead the Ravens in tackles and also led the league in tackles for loss. As the years went on, Lewis just seemed to get better and better. Around the league, Mr. Lewis is known as the big intimidating leader of the Baltimore Ravens.

There are a lot of players in the NFL who are considered leaders and playmakers but not all of them deliver constantly. This individual has proven over and over again that he is a playmaker. Here is a list of his accomplishments in the NFL: eight-time Pro Bowler, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, seven-time All-Pro selection, he led the league in tackles five times, and he also holds numerous records for the Baltimore Ravens. It seems as if Ray Lewis is the perfect prototype for a NFL linebacker. He’s smart, strong, fast, aggressive, and most of all smart.

There is no doubt that Ray Lewis is a first ballot hall of famer. Mental/Emotional On any sports team there needs to be a leader. Whether it’d be on the field, off the field, spiritually or emotionally, every team needs some type of leader to help guide them in the right direction. Ray Lewis is definitely the unchallenged emotional leader of the Baltimore Ravens. According to Wood (2004), Lewis is “probably” the most passionate player in the National Football League. His consistently show his passion for the game of football, whether it’s off the field at an interview or if it’s during a game.

Every time the Baltimore Ravens play, Ray Lewis is always “mic’d up” or “wired” which means that there is always a camera following him and a microphone recording his every sound. Fans really get an in-depth look at the passion and determination of Lewis. The funny thing about Lewis is that a lot of people may not understand why he acts the way he does when it comes to football. According to Attner (2003) “Ray Lewis is the toughest player in the NFL because he is determined to break the will of his opponents and he loves to absorb pain and take it. Whenever a person is obsessive or fanatic about their craft, it takes them into another world and they show it.

Attner (2003) also proclaimed that Lewis is “disciplined fury” and that “you have to be smart to be this good and this brave. ” It may seem as though Lewis is just a crazy man running wild out there on the football field when actually it is the exact opposite. He studies tape more diligently than any other Ravens player and knows the game plan better than any teammate (Attner, 2003). According to Bell (2005) “Lewis is fueled by doubts. ” The mere fact that someone thinks that they are going to overpower him is his motivation.

Ray Lewis faced adversity, however, he used to it to change him as a person and a man. Final Analysis Ray Lewis is a special kind of talent, a special type of person. The life of Ray Lewis has been shaped by on-field triumphs off-field troubles and so trying to get a picture of him becomes a proposition (Rosenthal, 2000). A tough childhood and numerous hardships have literally molded him into the man he is today. There are only a select group of players in the NFL who can be both aggressive and intimidating while at the same time caring for another human being and always lending a helping hand.

Lewis a devoted man of God and he prove it time and time again with food drives and assisting kids with supplies for school. He does whatever he can to help a person in need. Tatyanna McCall, the mother of three of his children, stated that he has a “huge heart” and that he will help “anybody that is in need” (interview, November, 2006) A lot of young players in the league seem to gravitate to Lewis because they know what he’s been through and they know that he can help them through anything. Ray Lewis is not a perfect human being, but, he believes that he has a purpose here on Earth and he’s working hard to fulfill it.