The tiring tributes to Ray Lewis ignore one salient point
I understand entirely that the Super Bowl is far more a cultural event than a sporting event; it is as much about the atmosphere than the game in the runup to Sunday.
Sure, it’s overblown and overhyped and over the top in every imaginable way, it has morphed into some kind of national party in the United States – and here in large pockets – that makes it stand out from every other sports event on this side of the globe.
And I honestly don’t know if there’s a comparable event anywhere in the world, perhaps the Champions League final since it’s got weeks to be talked about and dissected and is often a neutral site party as much as a game.
But even it is about the football, more than this one’s about the football, as far as I can glean not having actually covered either one.
This Super Bowl, however, is getting to me and it’s getting to me for one huge, significant point.
Look, I cannot dispute Lewis’s football playing skills, there is an argument to be made that he is among the very greatest players of all time.
But he is being held up as this bastion of God-fearing greatness, the single best motivator among his peers, the screaming and speechifying and emotional outbursts that are lauded as a prime example of a sporting leader.
He was able to shrug off performance-enhancing drug allegations that surfaced this week and go about his business of being himself. He is positioning his post-career life already, remember the reports that he’d agreed to do TV for the remainder of the playoffs had the Ravens not made it this far? Ray Lewis is in the process of growing the Ray Lewis brand and far too many are playing right into it.
The question no one asked and one I don’t imagine many thought of is this:
“Ray, the first time you were at a Super Bowl it ended in a life-changing manner. Two innocent men died, you were indicted for murder and aggravated assault; you flipped on two other defendants, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges and no one was ever convicted of those two senseless murders. How have you managed to turn your life, and your image around?”
He wouldn’t have answered, he would have obfuscated or clouded the issue with some trite clichés, I bet.
Remember that the next time someone writes about what a great man, motivator and leader Ray Lewis is.
I have no real rooting interest in Sunday’s game except this:
I hope it’s the last time I have to hear about what a great man Ray Lewis is.
Rudy Gay? Rudy Schmay.
Give me Marvin every time.
Oh, and in case you were wondering why the odd 2 p.m. game time Sunday against Miami (and I don’t recall a 2 p.m. home game ever), there’s one reason and one reason only:
Sure, the game’s on TSN here but ESPN’s Super Bowl pre-game show – which I believe starts this afternoon, I say only jokingly – goes from 10 a.m. until, yep, 2 p.m. and since TSN’s locked in to that show, the Raptors-Heat get moved back an hour or so.
Kind of a pain for us workers trying to find somewhere to go for the game (the writing process probably goes until 5:45 or 6 since it’s probably Gay’s first game) but I bet I can pull a string and find a stool.
I hear it’s at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can’t wait to get my machine set up after I stop by Mother Star this afternoon so I can access the account and see what all you good people have for me.
Hope it’s fun, I love good mail.
Know who I’m most interested in seeing perform post-trade?
Ed Davis and DeRozan were tight (DeMar’s reaction in the locker room Wednesday was shock, I didn’t get a chance to talk to him Thursday at practice because he had to run out to an appearance) and this is the first significant trade of a teammate and close friend he’s had to deal with in his career.
And, I’m sure he’s read, or been told about, all the glorious offensive abilities of his new teammate Rudy Gay and how the Raptors see him as a closer and a go-to guy and a first offensive option.
I don’t think DeMar will pout or anything, that doesn’t seem to be in his DNA, but this has been a rather emotional and interesting couple of days for a young man who’s never had to deal with it.
I quite like him and his game, he’s improving in almost every aspect even if he still has great lengths to go; not sure he needs any kind of setback to that right now.
I see the little outburst the other night in Atlanta cost Dwane just $25,000.
That’s not bad since the going rate for coaches going off on officials had been upped to $35,000 (Phil Jackson, Stan Van Gundy, Nate McMillan and Byron Scott in the last couple of years) so could say Casey got off easy.
Or you could say he was right.
I don’t imagine there are going to be any repercussions, good or bad, to the explosion, which I would bet was as much a culmination of a long, hard, emotional day as anything. Refs won’t hold it against him, they’re used to being hammered by players and coaches every night, nor are they going to give him any special dispensation as a way of saying they’re sorry for their colleagues blowing previous calls.
Yes, the plan is to be back for an IGBT tonight (sorry about the other night but Wednesday at 5 p.m. until Thursday at 5 p.m. was the busiest beat day I’ve had in a very, very long time) and we’re trying to hook up a lunchtime Q and A in the very near future.