Ray Lewis has an unbridled enthusiasm for the game of football, and he is considered one of the best motivational speakers in sports. But the former Baltimore Ravens linebacker also has a tendency to go overboard with his speeches. His excessive show of emotion even led to him being mocked by the “Saturday Night Live” crew in January.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco even says Lewis’ speeches left him laughing at times.
“Oh, it’s funny,” Flacco told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday. “His speeches come from the heart, but there’s definitely times where I’m sitting there kind of chuckling to myself. It’s all good. There’s nobody that’s more passionate about what he does than that guy.
“So you just sit back and take it all in, but there’s times where he says some stuff and you’re like, ‘Man I don’t know what that meant, but I like how he said it.’”
When Flacco says Lewis’ speeches left him chuckling to himself, we’re sure he means that in an endearing way. As excessive as Lewis can be, his leadership inspired the Ravens. Terrell Suggs even said that Lewis’ retirement announcement helped spark the team’s Super Bowl run.
Flacco’s quote to USA Today came in the context of leadership for the Ravens. With Lewis on the team, Baltimore may have had the best leadership in the league for the past several seasons. Without him, others will need to emerge as team leaders. Flacco says that although he is not a vocal person, he will continue to lead through his play.
Even though we agree with Amani Toomer who says Lewis became a caricature of himself, we still have to credit the man for being an excellent speaker. If you haven’t seen them, you should watch this video of Lewis motivating Stanford’s basketball team last year, and this video of the moving eulogy Lewis delivered at Art Modell’s funeral.Google+