I love Ray Lewis.
I love his dancing, his vicious hits, and like all of you; I love pictures of him in orange and green with bare midriff.
Who doesn't love football midriff? I caught myself rooting for James Wilder, Jr. a little this year just because he's managed to circumvent NCAA uniform rules with the midriff-undertuck. I guess I'm just a fan of college football abs, and no one had better football abs than Ray Lewis.
Ray Lewis was a 2 time All-American at Miami. He's one of everyone's favorite "Pro Canes". Ray Lewis announced prior to last week's game that this would be his last season in the NFL. Many 'Canes fans have lamented the end of #52's career. Hurricanes all over are rooting for Ray to make one last run at another ring. Another Super Bowl would be the perfect swan song for the greatest linebacker to ever play at the University of Miami. I rooted for Ray last week, just like all of you. I cheered for his last introductory dance in front of the home crowd. I reached out to the television as bionic-armed Ray made an ill-fated attempt to intercept a batted ball. I loved every second of the Ravens 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
But I've seen the error of my ways.
I cannot, root for a man with Ray's past, knowing what I know now. I feel disgusting. As a Hurricanes fan, I can't believe I pulled for Ray Lewis this past weekend. I can't understand how I could cheer for a man who's done such violent acts in his past.
Ray Lewis' career must end Saturday. And it's all because of those past acts of violence.
Those violent hits all over the Orange Bowl.
Oh, and because of recruiting.
Ray Lewis' son, Ray Lewis III is a Miami Hurricanes commitment for the 2013 recruiting season. RL3 is scheduled to tour the Miami campus for his official visit on January 18. Also rumored to visit that day are Rivals 5-star recruits Ruben Foster, Matthew Thomas, Dee Liner; 4-star recruits Alex Collins, Jaynard Bostwick, Denver Kirkland, Tim Williams, and Keith Bryant among others. January 18 is shaping up as the biggest recruiting weekend of the year.
The Hurricanes need Ray Lewis on campus with his son January 18. Nothing will impress the nation's top recruits more than hearing what it was like to run through smoke from their idol. Ray will regale them with tales of his murderous hits and how he found love in Ray III's mom at Miami. Maybe Ray Lewis will even tell stories about how his son was conceived in one of the many beautiful fountains dotting the Coral Gables campus. His son doesn't need to see the campus, he's seen it countless times with his father. The coaches invited him to this specific weekend as a recruiting tool. Ray can't recruit for Miami if he's off winning football games. What good is he to us then?
So remember, you're not a Ravens fan (if you are, congratulations, that jersey looks very slimming on you); you're a Hurricanes fan. For the sake of the Hurricanes, please join me in rooting for Ray Lewis to stop playing this Saturday so one day the Hurricanes can (Matthew Thomas willing) stop an offense on a Saturday.
(Oh yeah, and he might have helped cover up a murder, so you can also feel better about not cheering for that.)