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Why you shouldn’t be upset with Ray Lewis

There really is nothing better than sitting around with some good friends and watching sports.

Not only does it allow you a good excuse to enjoy some beverages of your choice but you get a chance to talk about everything and anything that comes to mind. So since the joy of pro football won’t be returning for six months for me, March Madness is an easy substitute.

As me and my buddies settled in, the conversation turned to Ray Lewis.

“Hey, I can’t believe that he said he wanted to play for the Jets or the Cowboys. Where is his loyalty?” was the first response.

Well, he never actually said that in the conversation. He was asked by an NFL network reporter the possibility of playing somewhere besides Baltimore and he ran with it. You do realize that the in order to obtain more money you have to at least have the appearance that other teams are interested in you?

And did any of those teams ever come out and say they were interested? Now I know it’s against league rules but the real truth would be revealed at 12:01 when the gates are open to free agency. Did anyone bang on his door with a contract in hand and fend off his dogs to see him like fellow former teammate Bart Scott? Instead he sat and watched other players have deals wrapped up by lunchtime on the first day. No helicopter from Jerry Jones. No private limo from Dan Synder. No special lunch buffet from Rex Ryan. The market had spoken.

Loyalty, my friends is a two way street. I will invoke another cliche no fan wants to hear, “This is a business”. Take Willie Anderson for example, the vet who stepped in quite well to help mold a young offensive line. Over the past few weeks several sources had Ozzie Newsome looking to sign a free agent to replace a hold at Right Tackle. Had Willie Anderson retired? It depends on who you asked. But even after all had apparently been sorted out and Ozzie Newsome was quoted saying, “We have no plans to bring in any other tackles at this time.” the headlines read the next day that Orlando Pace would be visiting. Loyalty?

Anyone outraged? That’s what I thought. No you see the possibility of getting a former 7 time Pro Bowler in the fold. Mr, Anderson thanks for that year but see if the Bengals want you back. We don’t need you anymore. As a player you need to look into what is in your best interests because football contracts, like much in life are not guaranteed.

“Ok, but don’t you think players should want to play here and isn’t thinking about leaving taking a swipe at the fans who have supported him for all these years,” added another friend.

No. All I really know about Ray Lewis is that he’s a funky dancer and a future Hall of Fame football player. That’s it. Many fans think they have some personal connection with him after watching him over the years. He’s doing his job and as I stated earlier you wouldn’t care so much about him if he still couldn’t perform at a high level. He be released and gone. (see Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle and Matt Stover)

He signed because no other team offered anything close to what he wanted or what the Ravens did. It was his best option and he took it.

The press conference slated at halftime of the Maryland-Cal game was interesting to say the least. Each member of the administration weighed in and then the man spoke himself.

I thought about copying the transcript here for you from the Sun but I think fiction books still belong in paper form. “I was never serious” and ” I only flirted with free agency”. You’d think he was apologizing to his girlfriend and that’s pretty close. All those fans on the call in shows and blogs who said fine if he wants to leave, then go. They played the spurned faithful companion who’s partner had a wandering eye. Aren’t we still good enough for you? It’s a joke. And now that he’s back to finish his career in purple what is he supposed to say, do you really want him to be honest. I mean really?

So we next await the draft or perhaps another off-season move until the helmets are back on and another season is here. I have a feeling that once the first hit is made everyone will forget.

After all, “It’s only business.”

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