Ravens fans clamoring for Ray Lewis to be back on the sideline will finally get their wish.
Lewis has been named as one of the four “legends captains” for the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando, joining Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, Chiefs/Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and Raiders/Packers defensive back Charles Woodson.
The annual clash between the NFL’s best players will take place on Jan. 29 at Camping World Stadium.
Lewis won’t choose teams like team captains have the past three years. The league announced in June that they will go back to the AFC-NFC format.
Each conference will be led by two captains – one offensive and one defensive. Bettis (offense) and Lewis (defense) will lead the AFC, while Gonzalez (offense) and Woodson (defense) will lead the NFC.
The four legends captains will serve as mentors for the Pro Bowl players, coach practices, and be present on the sidelines on gameday, the league said in a release.
In other words, Lewis will be a hype man during the game and fun voice at practice. It should be interesting to watch him interact with some of the game’s biggest stars.
The league has been tinkering with the Pro Bowl format amidst criticism of a boring product. This year, the NFL is collaborating with Disney and ESPN to provide a more youth-friendly, family-focused entertainment product.
Practices will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. There will be a Pro Bowl-themed 5K run, a parade of Pro Bowl players in the Magic Kingdom and Pro Bowl-themed elements throughout Disney Springs, a new entertainment and dining destination.
Lewis already lives in the Miami area, so it’s not too far for him.
Pro Bowl voting is already open, so vote for your favorite Ravens!