Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis took to M&T Bank Stadium today for the last time, after announcing his retirement at the end of the season. His introduction was as excellent as you imagined it would be.
The Ravens' stalwart leader has spent his entire career in Baltimore after being drafted with the 26th pick in the 1996 NFL draft. Over those 17 seasons he's been a 13-time Pro Bowler, a 7-time All Pro, and won Super Bowl XXXV.
Prior to the game, Ravens players spoke about what Ray Lewis means to them, and the urgency they have to make something happen in these 2012-13 playoffs. There's an understanding throughout the organization that they can't concentrate fully on Lewis's retirement, but instead use it as motivation.
This may be his last dance, but Ray Lewis's impact in Baltimore will have lasting effects on the organization, the linebacker position, and the NFL as a whole.