For the Ravens and their fans, they see what’s ahead.
For Lewis, his ability to recognize the end should be commended. Most athletes of his stature rarely leave the game on their own terms.
His injury may have been his blessing. He took the time to see everything he was missing and realized it was time to leave.
There have been whispers that he has lost a step on the field. He also had his “George Bailey” moment. He was able to see what life had been without him.
It was a wonderful life, but he had missed so much with his family, specifically time with his sons.
And now, it looks like he will be drawing on his fame for a cushy athletic retirement package, aka an ESPN analysis job. He will join the likes of former teammate Trent Dilfer, the guy who held up the offensive end of Baltimore’s deal while Lewis and the defense won Super Bowl XXXV.
Wednesday began the final act for Lewis, whose commitment to be the best athlete possible for one team and one city never wavered. Meanwhile, he continued to evolve as a man and a public figure.
He figured out what his place is in society. Just being an athlete isn’t good enough.
Like so many of us who have watched Lewis from afar, we witnessed a brash kid joining the team spouting and holding many promises. He delivered on that front.
The brashness stayed on the field, but off it, Lewis reinvented himself, seemingly starting in 2000 when he was indicted on murder charges in connection with two stabbing deaths in Atlanta. He stopped taking his fame as a right and honored it as an advantage for charitable means.
For Ray Lewis, the unknown of the future won’t be that scary.
Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7358 or by email at email@example.com
Parasiliti: Lewis' exit leaves many facing unknown
Bob Parasiliti (Joe Crocetta / April 15, 2012)