You’ve probably heard Ray Lewis’ “Deck of Cards” story about how he started doing push-ups in his garage to correspond with the number on the card.
Well, just when you think you’ve heard it all, Lewis revealed another gem.
Lewis spoke at a TEDx youth event at Valencia High School in California on May 15. TEDx events are local, self-organized TED Talks. Lewis was on the guest list because he’s friends with teenage heartthrob Taylor Lautner, and thus knows Lautner’s sister, Makena, who attends the high school.
Back to Lewis’ crazy untold story.
When Lewis tore his triceps in a Week 6 game against Dallas in 2012, doctors told him his career was over. We all know Lewis made a courageous comeback for his “final ride” and won Super Bowl XLVII to cap his epic 17-year career.
What we didn’t know is that Lewis apparently re-tore his triceps the night before Super Bowl XLVII. (Fast forward to the 17:55 mark in his speech to hear him tell the story.)
“I couldn’t tell nobody. I couldn’t go to the doctors. I couldn’t go to my teammates,” Lewis said. “What was I going to tell them? That I couldn’t play?”
To cope with the pain, Lewis said he tied one end of a shoestring around his arm and the other around a sprinkler head in his room so he could elevate his arm.
“Just so I could get three hours of sleep,” Lewis said. “That shoestring held my arm the whole night.”
Lewis said the injury was so bad that he almost told the trainers at halftime that he couldn’t go on.
“I stayed in [the locker room] a little longer because I got ready to tell the trainers, ‘I’m like, man, listen, I can’t even punch nobody with my arm. It’s hurting that bad,’” Lewis said. “A whisper came to me. ‘It ain’t about you, it’s about the team.’”
Lewis continued on to tell a story that you’ve probably heard about jogging out of the locker room and making a U-turn to place his hands on Jacoby Jones’ chest because “God told me to.” Directly after, Jones ran back the second half’s opening kickoff for a Super Bowl record 108-yard touchdown.
Lewis also shared new details about the moment when his triceps first popped and about watching the abuse his mother endured. It was all part of his theme about turning “my greatest pain into my greatest achievement.”
Lewis’ job as an ESPN analyst didn’t work out, but, man, that guy can still tell a good story.