How do the Baltimore Ravens replace Ray Lewis?
By DX Traeger (@PolemicLicense)
When Ray Lewis finished his NFL career at the Super Bowl, he left the only franchise he ever knew with gaping wounds at the linebacker and leadership positions. Still, if you believe Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome, the answer to finding the “next” Ray Lewis is simpler than one might expect.
“In the past, we’ve had success in the draft by relying on the advice of our talent evaluators,” Newsome explained on Tuesday, “but it’s not every day that your team is trying to replace one of the NFL’s all-time great defenders and frauds.”
“Following the Super Bowl in 2000, Ray Lewis straight up killed two guys. Ray ran away, burned his blood-covered white suit, lied to the cops, and then went out the next year and was the Super Bowl MVP for us. That takes a lot of determination and only a special player could perform such off-the-field fraudulence like that.”
Newsome, who took over the GM duties for Baltimore in 2002, recognizes that Lewis’s reputation has transcended the sport. “Some people try to compare Ray to Hollywood movie characters. I’ve heard ESPN refer to him as ‘the Godfather.’ For me, Ray Lewis was more like Keyser Soze, because only the Devil could get away with murder the way Lewis did.”
“Dismissing Ray’s achievements by simply calling him a ‘murderer’ and a ‘cheat’ is completely unfair, because Lewis was so, so, so much more,” Newsome continued. “The man fathered six kids with four different women, but do you hear anybody talk about his infidelity? Hell no! ESPN lapped up anything Ray said, because for them, Ray Ray was Cray Cray, and if Britney Spears has taught us anything, it’s that America loves Cray Cray. And Coco,” Newsome added thoughtfully. “Ice loves Coco, and so do I.”
Newsome is reluctant to give any coach credit for the distinct evolution of Lewis throughout the years. “First of all, you can’t teach instincts, and Ray had some of the best bullcrap instincts ever. Any fool can get into legal trouble and then ‘find Jesus.’ Take Michael Irvin: after stabbing a teammate with scissors and forgetting to, ahem, dispose of his brother’s crack pipe, Michael Irvin found him some Jesus. Oh yeah, Michael Irvin found Jesus- and lots of cocaine- but Irvin still got suspended for five games in 1996.”
“But Ray…see, with Ray, he always went big. Ray wasn’t just content to FIND Jesus. No, Ray went out and Ray BECAME Jesus. Man, Ray took divine credit for Jacoby Jones running back that kickoff in the Super Bowl because he had “laid his hands” on Jacoby before the game. Only the best fraud in the history of the NFL could make that stuff up, and Ray is a first-ballot BS’er.”
As for replacing Lewis’s unique talents, Newsome pointed to a special draft strategy that the Ravens have been honing for years while anticipating the retirement of Number 52.
“Ray’s game was all intimidation,” he explained. “If Ray could intimidate his opponents by getting away with double homicide, what could a linebacker convicted of mass murder do for our organization? What the Ravens want in a Ray Lewis replacement is someone with exceptional defensive skills and has killed no fewer than seventeen people. If we can find a player with these qualifications, we’ll seriously consider offering them a contract that will eat up some of their 200-year prison sentence.”
“Basically,” Newsome said laughing, “we’re looking for a hybrid of Charles Manson, Doctor Richard Kimble and, well, Ray Lewis.”
Finding a replacement for Ray Lewis will not be an easy task for the Baltimore Ravens. Team scouts will be hard at work finding the next great Super Bowl champion at federal prisons and the University of Miami.