Ray Lewis still has two years to go before he has a chance to hear his name called for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he had a nice appetizer Thursday afternoon.
Lewis was one of 26 players named to the Super Bowl 50 “Golden Team," which recognizes the best overall career performances in the Super Bowl. Lewis and Steelers Hall of Famer Jack Lambert were the two inside linebackers picked for the team.
"The Super Bowl 50 Golden Team is an amazing list of incredible individuals," said Pro Football Hall of Fame Executive Vice President Joe Horrigan. "Each name conjures up memories of some of the sport's greatest games showcased on its biggest platform."
The Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
Lewis played in two Super Bowls in his 17-year career with the Ravens and won both of them. He was a central figure in bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Baltimore in both victories.
Lewis was the Super Bowl XXXV Most Valuable Player, which capped off a season where he was also named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year. Lewis was the best player on perhaps the best defense of all time, and his unit didn't allow more than 10 points in any of the Ravens' four playoff victories.
Baltimore's defense was dominant in the 34-7 victory over the New York Giants, and Lewis finished the game with 11 tackles and four passes defensed.
Lewis again led the Ravens to a Super Bowl in 2012 to cap off his career. Lewis wasn't the same dominant player in Super Bowl XLVII, but he was the clear emotional leader and the Ravens rallied around his announcement that he would retire at the end of the season.
In a fitting end to his career, the Ravens defense came up with a goal-line stand in the final minutes for the 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Ray Lewis retires from the NFL as a Super Bowl Champion.