Talk about going deep. I made a vow to do it on this page, the Ravens did it last night. They wrote the script for this blog and if you do nothing else, at least give yourself the gift of reading the transcript of Ray Lewis’s news conference I put at the bottom of this page. It’s 2 minutes of your life you will never want back.
Ravens down by 7. Third and 3 from the 30 with 31 seconds in regulation and to timeouts. Flacco to Jacoby. Touchdown.
The Mile High Miracle. But damn it’s so much more than that.
Yes it’s about sports, but it’s about inspiration, it’s about dedication, it’s about a dream, it’s about a vision, it’s about a plan, it’s about grit and it’s about success. The Ravens. Joe Flacco. Jacoby Jones. Ray Lewis. Ray Rice. Josh Tucker. Corey Graham. Everyone on that team showed us last night how you never, ever give up. You must find a way to persevere against the greatest of adversity. If you have a dream, create a vision, have a goal, command great leadership of yourself and of others, have an unwavering devotion to planning and practice and grind it out, you can do anything. As John Harbaugh said that game did football proud. But that game was much more than a game. It was a lesson in life and it was special.
Who didn’t feel like someone had put a spring under the sofa, and leaped into the air when Jones brought that ball to his chest and pranced into the end zone? Who didn’t experience the unbelievable moment of heart-stopping exhilaration? Even the minimalist sports fan had to feel something after that catch, after that comeback, right? Because despite it’s problems and despite the critics, sports can still take you there. You don’t have to idolize, just enjoying the ride is enough. And sometimes, the game teaches you a life lesson you might just carry over to the next day… and beyond. Keep it in your heart, stay steadfast to the kind of game plan the Ravens put in place, pay attention to how they overcame adversity, and luck just might present itself at your doorstep. The Ravens were serious underdogs, playing on a short week, in hostile territory, 5,000 feet above sea level in thin air, with a “feels like” temperature of about 1 degree. And they didn’t even show up until the day before, with no time to adapt to the conditions! Everything, everything, was stacked against them.
But last night wasn’t about luck, it was about believing you can accomplish anything you put your mind to and having an overwhelming sense of confidence you can do it. It’s not about genetics, it’s not about intelligence, it’s about grit. It’s about having the vision and never wavering from it when other people are mocking you, discounting you and discouraging you. Yet you find a way to win. You have an unwavering devotion to becoming something more. When you tell your mind its going to happen, have the vision and see it through, opportunity has a way of finding you. Joe Flacco found it. That pass he put up to Jones was like every deep ball you might have thrown in your backyard or in the middle of the street when you played football as a kid. Put it up high, like a rainbow and hope for the pot of gold. Last night, the Flacco Fling landed in the heart of Oz.
And what about Ray Lewis. As promised, the man who will forever be a sports legend in this town, gives this page the perfect ending. But here’s the reason he should grace this page… because he’s a legend, not just for what he does on the field, but what he does off the field. It’s all about what Lewis does with his life. Want to be remembered? Do something small to give back every day that gets you to that place. It’s the little things that make a difference… and it’s life changing.
When asked what it feels like to extend his career with this game, here’s Ray Ray’s response:
“To do it like this. To do it for my team, to do it for my teammates, to do it for my children, who are my greatest inspiration, and then to do it for my city. There’s no other reason you do it. And if you were to go out any other way man, I challenge people to fight your darndest to go out this way. To feel what that ride feels like, to look into men’s eyes and get everybody to buy in. And when you get everybody to buy in, it’s just so special when you see it come to fruition, then it changes perspective on what we should pay attention to. I went down to Johns Hopkins Thursday night. A friend of mine called me and asked me to come see some kids. I walked in there and I’m lookin’ at these babies, ya know, who are unfortunate because they have to be there. And it just took everything away. Cause I made a mistake before, before the AFC championship and a very ill child I was supposed to go see before the game. I never got a chance to see him off, I never got a chance to say my last goodbyes to him. And this time when the call came, I HAD to go do it. I put my iPad down and I let studying take care of itself. I had studied so much. To go look at those kids and to listen to those kids and to listen to the things they were asking me… to just keep going on in life. Just the actual opportunity in life. It’s why you do what you do. It’s why you sacrifice everything and there is just no greater reward.”
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.