The last time Ray Lewis was in M&T Bank Stadium was for the Ravens’ Super Bowl parade, when he did the “Squirrel Dance” with Ed Reed.
Now that Lewis (and Reed) will be back there once again for Sunday’s game, fans have been wondering what Lewis will do for an encore.
Will he do the dance? Will he give one of his trademark pump-up speeches?
I would say chances are less than 50/50 on both. But on such an emotional day, improvisation can sometimes take over.
As Head Coach John Harbaugh said this week, “Those are the kind of things best left to providence.”
On Tuesday, Lewis told reporters that he doesn’t have any plans to talk to the team before Sunday’s game. He said he could talk to Harbaugh about it later in the week, but that the two also could wait to connect until gameday.
“We’ll figure out something, if I’m going to talk to them at all,” Lewis said. “Seeing them would be enough excitement within itself.”
The Ravens are open to having Lewis give the team a pregame talk, but it’s not going to be forced.
“If it happened and it felt right, it would be great,” Harbaugh said. “And if it didn’t happen because it didn’t make sense, that’d be fine, too.”
“I think we’ll leave that up to Ray, but I think he should just enjoy his moment,” added
My gut tells me Lewis will not come dancing out of the tunnel for introductions. That would be just too showy for post-retirement Lewis, who knows that this team has moved on from his era and hasn’t been too interested in looking back.
Maybe there could be a little dance at halftime during the Ring of Honor ceremony when both teams are in the locker room. But that’s it.
I think a speech to the team is more likely.
When Lewis gets back in that stadium and sees his teammates, the emotions will definitely be high. And we all know Ray Lewis. When he gets emotional, the words start flowing.
I could see Lewis chatting with Harbaugh before the game and asking if he could talk to the team. Once Lewis sees his former teammates back in uniform, the General may want to step out in front again. I’ll say this. If he does, I think it would get the players (even the new ones) really fired up.