NFL: Ray Lewis tells Baltimore Ravens 'You got to play the game pissed off' | Sport | The Guardian
No one can resist nature's call, but for athletes, knowing when to let it flow can be the Meet the NFL draft QB class: Everything you need to know Over the years, Gross had tried every technique NFL players and other (roughly ounces) every 15 minutes until they reached their "breaking point. Preparing players of all ages for success at football's highest level. “We want to make the pipeline as wide as possible to attract as many players to the game as we can. Above all else, the NFL wants student-athletes to stay in college until get the opportunity to meet and network with representatives from NFL teams. NFL: Ray Lewis tells Baltimore Ravens 'You got to play the game pissed off' If Lewis has become one of the greatest defensive players ever to grace But even that could not provide him with closure. But when people meet me, they meet what my mother raised, which was a hell of a man, by herself.
In the small hours of the morning after the game, he was with a group that became involved in a fight which started outside the club and finished with two young men — Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar — stabbed to death.
When athletes gotta go ... where do they go?
Lewis, along with two others, would subsequently be charged with murder. But in the court of public opinion, not everyone was convinced. Certain fans of opposing teams, in particular, would remind him many times over the next few seasons that they believed he should be behind bars. Twelve years on, Lewis might not have won everyone over but he has succeeded in greatly rehabilitating his public image — in part through his prodigious charity work, geared heavily towards creating support networks for kids in disadvantaged areas.
His visit to London, which was paid for out of his own pocket, was prompted by a letter from an amateur team, the Warriors, who are seeking to use the sport as a tool to keep young men from tough neighbourhoods out of gangs.
Because he knew that I would never turn my back on him. Now he receives all the glory, because he was able to expose who I was as a person, through a tragedy.
But when people meet me, they meet what my mother raised, which was a hell of a man, by herself. And that's my honour, that's what my goal is, to always keep my mum's name ringing, because I know what sacrifices she went through for me.
An intentionally intimidating on-field persona played into the hands of those seeking to portray him as a violent brute, yet in person he comes across as anything but — genial, optimistic and never far removed from the broadest of grins.
Becoming somebody else on gameday is, to Lewis's mind, just part of the job. As he neatly puts it: The first player ever to combine 40 sacks and 30 interceptions over the course of a career, Lewis has been named to the league's all-star game, the Pro Bowl, 13 times in 16 years. His longevity is extraordinary. Now 37, he is not as fast as he used to be but he still led the Ravens in tackles last season, despite missing four games. Lawrence changed the way the game was played.
Any time you can change a game, you can make people adjust their whole game plan, then you have to be considered number one or even zero. But after the Ravens' gut-wrenching defeat to New England in the AFC Championship game — Billy Cundiff missing a short field goal that would have tied the scores with 15 seconds remaining, moments after his team-mate Lee Evans had let a game-winning touchdown pass slip through his grasp — Lewis confirmed that he would be back.
He insists now that his decision to return was not affected by the outcome of that game.
You've got something left in the tank, so why give it up? If I'm in practice, and someone's beating me in practice, and then I get in the game and someone's beating me in the game, consistently, then I've got to look at myself and say, 'OK, what's going on?
You not loving it any more, or what? But I just can't tell you, straight up, when that would ever be. Never, I would never play nowhere else," he says. And that city is in love with me as much as I'm in love with it.
My purpose was there. During an emotional post-game speech that day, he commanded his team-mates not to be dispirited, and he remains resolutely on message. When we got to Dallas, there were helicopters hovering, people everywhere. You've got to try to take it all in, but don't let it get too big.
People get overwhelmed and they get too nervous, and they forget to treat it like a regular game. We were in the Super Bowl! I think that moment, getting off that plane, waving to the cameras, was a very special time for everyone. Coach didn't want us to be distracted with stuff like that.
We got there Monday night, and media day was Tuesday. Monday night was the only night you don't have a curfew, but if you've been to the Super Bowlyou know nothing is going on Monday night anyway. So Tuesday was 1 a. Then, it was It progressively got shorter as the game got closer.
From arrival to kickoff, Super Bowl week unique to each player
No other afternoon displays the week's craziness like this one. Players arrive to the stadium in the morning. The stars will sit behind podiums usually set up on the field, while nearly 40 other players either wander the throng of reporters or sit in assigned seats around the area.
No question is off limits. I heard how crazy media day can be, but once I was a part of it, I realized for myself how crazy that is. There are so many different people from all over the world.
Listening to some of their questions, they were pretty basic. But to them, it was probably a great thing.
The atmosphere is just really unique. XLVI things I loved After starting with 46 things to look forward to, Michael Lombardi now presents the 46 things he loved most about the season. Several players said Wednesday is welcomed because it actually means the team can retreat to its comfort zone.
This is the first day of real practice, when they'll go over the game plan to refresh everyone's memories. Now, you're back to doing what you do. You've done so many things that aren't football that you can't wait to get back to the game.
For us, I think our Wednesday practice in Dallas was our best practice all season. After all of the media on the first two days, it refocused us on what we were trying to do. In the regular season, meetings start at 8 a. You break for 30 minutes to have breakfast. You have a routine. I eat a bagel, some fruit and a smoothie everyday.
But the Super Bowl breaks that up. You're in a hotel. You're in ballrooms for meetings. You have fans all around the place. It breaks up the routine, so that's a challenge. But so is impatience. While the parties are starting up on the peripheral, players begin to spend more time around the hotel lobby talking to their families or teammates. Strict curfews are imposed for each team. Just men sharing stories. Those conversations took place everyday, but the closer we got to it, the conversations took place even more.
What do athletes do when they have to pee during games?
It's a childhood dream -- everybody's childhood dream. Shannon had two already. Rod Woodson didn't have one. So the stories were so good. It was reflective for everybody. I had about 25 people there. After practice, whenever we had down time, I tried to find time to hang out with them in the hotel lobby. You're sick of the questions.