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Ravens Celebrate At Ring Ceremony


Torrey Smith couldn't say five words without looking down at his finger minutes after receiving his ring.

That's how special the Super Bowl XLVII ring is to the Ravens.

"I didn't cry or anything. But I can see how women feel when they get a ring," Smith said.

"I keep looking at this thing and it has a lot of different meanings. It ended up being a season like this. We can win a Super Bowl every year I'm in the league and it will be nothing like this."

The Ravens' run to the championship was epic in many ways. It was unexpected, considering the injuries and team's four losses in its final five regular-season games.

But Baltimore rallied, and it all paid off with an extravagant private ceremony Friday night at the team's Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Md.

The players, staff and coaches met in the team's decked out indoor field. They watched a video detailing the team's epic postseason run, then Owner Steve Bisciotti gave a speech.

Bisciotti opened by thanking late Owner Art Modell and his wife, Patricia.

"They touched us all," Bisciotti said. "They made us believe we were special, and we get to pay them back."

Then he acknowledged members of the Ravens Ring of Honor who also got rings, including tackle Jonathan Ogden, kicker Matt Stover, linebacker Michael McCrary, linebacker Peter Boulware and running back Jamal Lewis. Bisciotti said those five players helped build the first Lombardi trophy and make the Ravens who they are today.

Bisciotti then specifically thanked General Manager Ozzie Newsome for his brilliance in building another Super Bowl team, and linebacker Ray Lewis for his leadership, particularly after the Ravens' difficult AFC championship loss in the 2011 season.

"History will shine on you as one of the greatest of all time, not in Baltimore, but in the NFL," Bisciotti said. "I hope you know how much that means that you are the anchor."

Bisciotti said last year's AFC championship loss was the first time as owner that he considered whether it might not be worth going through guaranteed painful defeats for the chance to win.

He went on to praise Head Coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco.

"Usually men raised like you by your parents and expected to reach for the stars, they get somewhere," Bisciotti said to Harbaugh. "And I don't think this is the top for you yet."

"You are the leader, like it or not," Bisciotti said to Flacco. "Your agent cannot do anything for you. I did not give him money, except his wife promised me they would name their child Stephen."

Then Bisciotti unveiled the rings, which were hidden in table centerpieces.

"Your ring is right in front of you," he said. "Pick up the box."

With that, a gasp went over the room.

The Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII ring is blinged out, flush with 243 diamonds.

"I was yelling before I even opened the box, excited about it," Smith said. "It all hits you."

"Blood diamonds," linebacker Terrell Suggs first thought upon opening the box. "We gave up all that blood for these diamonds. The journey was long, but it was worth it. It was worth it, but I'll tell you this. I [darn] well want to feel like this again."

Flacco, who was in on the ring's design, called it a "special feeling."

"It's kind of un-wearable," the Super Bowl MVP said. "Over the next couple of days, when I go home - and probably over the next month - when I see people for the first time, I'm sure they're going to have some interest in seeing it. Or at least I'm going to have some interest in showing it off to them."

It was the second Super Bowl ring for Lewis, who took one home in 2001. He wore them both with a broad smile across his face. In his 17th season, Lewis got a second ring just before retiring.

"There's no better way to go out," Lewis said. "I can hold this the rest of my life and know I went out as champ. It took me 12 years to get back and get another ring. I want [my teammates] to cherish what this moment feels like right now, while we're world champs."

The 2012 Ravens reunited for one final time, never to be the same again. But for one night, they celebrated and danced with their championship rings held high.

"I always told them I wanted them to feel what that confetti felt like," Lewis said. "To have something that symbolizes it, it's the ultimate, because now it connects us forever."

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