As a Cleveland boy, I already have a very good reason to root against the Baltimore Ravens in today’s Super Bowl. Hell, The Ravens used to be the legendary Cleveland Browns until owner Art Modell screwed The Best Location in the Nation and, in the dark of night, ran off to Baltimore with our storied NFL franchise in 1996.
So, I already have one very, very good reason to bet against, cheer against, and plead to the Good Lord against the Baltimore Ravens.
But the biggest reason I’m rooting against the Ravens is Ray Lewis.
I’m old enough to remember Ray Lewis as the guy who got in a fight in January 2000 that resulted in his indictment on murder and aggravated assault charges. Of course, rich, resourceful, pampered athlete Ray was able to plead guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for testimony against the two other defendants: his buddies.
Let’s remember Ray’s murderous misadventure – just a lucky 13 years ago…
Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, Ray and his pals got into a fight that resulted in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.
Lewis and his buddies, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges. Lewis testified that his pals Oakley and Sweeting bought knives earlier that week from a sporting goods store where Lewis had been signing autographs. The blood of one of the victims was found inside of Lewis’s limo.
The suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found.
Lewis’ attorneys negotiated a plea agreement. The murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting — and his plea of guilty to obstruction of justice.
Lewis was sentenced to 12 months of probation and fined $250,000 by the NFL — the highest fine levied against an NFL player for an infraction that was not drug related.
The following year, Lewis was named Super Bowl XXXV MVP.
Ray Lewis is no MVP as far as I’m concerned. And I’m tired of his whole, pious, proselytizing “God is amazing” act.
I know Christians love a redemption story ever since they forgave Saul for assisting at the stoning of St. Stephen and allowed him to become St. Paul.
But Ray Lewis is no saint. He’s no hero. He’s not a redemption story.
He’s a charlatan and a scoundrel who can hit like a ton of bricks.
I hope the San Francisco 49ers run him over and drive his reputation into the ground.
And I hope Art Modell is watching the Raven’s loss – whether in heaven above or hell below.