And so here we are folks, about to witness – one way or the other – the end of an era, when Ray Lewis announces his retirement from being one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history and segues into commentary, possibly coaching in the future, love him or hate him Ray Lewis has been the bedrock of our Baltimore Ravens for quite some time now and it’ll be a huge task for anyone else to fill his shoes. In what can only be described as an epic showdown this coming Sunday, the Ravens take Baltimore’s former team in the Colts to the gridiron and potentially bring one of the most tumultuous Ravens seasons in a good long while to a close; or, the Big Dance. Again. We’re here every year, aren’t we? The stakes are always high, to be sure – but this Sunday in particular is something special. As of this posting there are roughly 1300 tickets left to the game and I have to admit, I’m sort of surprised at that amount given the level of the stakes and Ray Lewis’ emerging swan song.
But since I’m no sports writer of worth and there’s very little left to say on the matter, I figure I’d relay some tales of interest as it relates to Ray Ray – by no means directly, well sort of, whatever here are two tales from yesteryear that I think are funny. Enjoy!
Who let Ray Lewis Out?
When the Ravens last took it to the Superbowl in 2001, Baltimore City was *hot mess.* Every single bar and bar related venue was choked to the rafters and my friends and I found ourselves at PJ’s, a basement bar across the street from JHU totally devoid of any students whatsoever and full of townies, as JHU students are generally boring and don’t know what sports are other than lacrosse. At least, in 2001 that was the case. Regardless it was a great spread, a buffet for all to enjoy, Yuengling was sort of new and different to Baltimoreans at that time, this weird guy kept awkwardly clapping and saying “MEWVE THAUSE CHAINS, MEWVE THAUSE CHAINS, MEWVE!” Party time, as well as excellent. And when the Ravens finally destroyed the Giants 34-7, EVERYONE WENT COMPLETELY APESHIT. And I’m not talking about the people in PJ’s, they were calm compared to the throngs of people clogging up the arterial roads leading out of the city, climbing trees, pulling their cars over and partying in the middle of Pratt Street, no biggie.
Well one such gentleman that pulled his car over to the side was an extra special gentleman, a mulleted man of epic proportions; a true epitome of Mullet with ripped jeans, dirt stache and white kicks and a Bud Heavy in his hand. He truly was the crown prince of Mulletude.
Mixmaster Mullet took it upon himself to begin an epic celebration routine, which might have been confused by some as a mating ritual; stomping his feet, doing laps around his car, banging on the hood and fist pumping every so often, spouting an incoherent blend of Dundalkian sports epithets my then young ears had not learned to recognize as of yet.
But then suddenly, he broke into song. ….this tune, I’ve heard it before. It sounds familiar. Is that – the Baja Men? It must be, as it’s 2001 and they are popular, their music is known to be played at various sporting venues. But these words are different!
HEWWWW LET RAY LOOIS OUT? HEW! HEW! HEW! HEW!
Oh right, Ray Lewis and that stabbing thing. This guy is wondering how Ray Lewis got off his murder charge, in song form. Over and over and over.
HEWWWWWW LET RAY LOOIS OUT? HEW! HEW! HEW! HEW!
in the middle of Pratt Street. Who let Ray Lewis out? We all did sir, and thank you for asking. Shine on you crazy diamond.
The duck derby interruption
The year was 2006 and the venue was Padonia Park Club in Cockeysville and it was my cousin’s wedding day. An elegant ceremony was taking place in front of a pondside gazebo, a lovely day with family gathered to celebrate the union of a man and a woman so very very in love.
It was also the day of Ray Lewis’ then annual rubber duck derby, in which 10,000 small rubber ducks were offloaded from the back of a dumptruck into a pond, where they would subsequently “race” to the other end of the pond under the power of wind and gravity alone. So fun.
And so there we were, attempting to have a wedding alongside said pond, when a very large dumptruck began BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEPing its way backward toward the pond, where my cousin was getting married, and it proceeded to dump 10,000 little rubber ducks into the pond, as was customary of the event.
And so it was, as vows were exchanged and love was in the air, so too were rubber ducks in the water, quietly drifting along in the background toward their goal. We all tried as hard as possible not to stare at them, but the hypnotic powers of Ray Lewis’ rubber duckies was a difficult thing to resist.
Thanks for the memories, Ray