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The Caw: The Real Identity Of Fake Ray Lewis


It all started when Andre Boyd got tired of people videotaping him lifting weights at the gym.

Boyd has long been told he bore a striking resemblance to Ray Lewis. In college, people sometimes called him "Ray Ray."

But when Boyd would put his weights down, turn around and see somebody pointing their phone at him, he had enough.

"One day I walk to the front desk and turn my headphones off and ask the girl for a towel. When I turned my headphones off, you could hear people saying, 'Wow, that really is Ray Lewis,'" Boyd said.

"I figured if I looked this much like Ray Lewis, I'm going to roll with it."

A few days later, Boyd got a No. 52 Lewis jersey, put on a black skullcap and black duct tape on his face. He was going to dress up as Lewis for Halloween and take his 4-year-old daughter out trick-or-treating.

But before he did, he figured he'd give his buddies a good laugh. So he videotaped himself doing a Lewis impersonation of a pep talk to kids before they started knocking doors.

When his friends saw the video, they begged him to post it to their social media accounts since Boyd didn't have one. By the time Boyd got back from trick-or-treating, a Facebook post had more than 500,000 views.

"People were saying you fooled us and we've known you our whole life," Boyd said. "It was everywhere."

By the next day, the video was being written up in blogs. On Monday, ESPN featured it on "Monday Night Countdown" as part of their "C'MON MAN!" segment so Lewis could react to it himself. Lewis said he "fell out of bed laughing" when his son texted it to him.

So who is Boyd?

He's a 34-year-old father and a Ravens fan living in Durham, N.C. He played one year of college football at N.C. State (at middle linebacker, of course) and currently works for United Healthcare.

"Although I guess now I'm an actor and a motivational speaker," he said with a laugh.

As previously mentioned, Boyd has been mistaken for Lewis for much of his adult life. Years ago, he went to a Gold's Gym in Westminster, Md., near where his wife's uncle lives, and they gave him free admission and told him he could have anything he needed.

"They were treating me like I was a king," he said. "Hey, I went with it."

Starting this past August, Boyd got more serious about his weightlifting and grew out some facial hair. That's when even more people started videotaping him. Boyd bench presses 515 pounds, so it's kinda believable. Just check out this Instagram video of him at the gym as proof.

But how does Boyd talk so much like Lewis?

"That's just me being me. I'm always intense like that," he said. "I don't write this stuff."

Boyd said he was always a passionate speaker when he played football and when he was a personal trainer. When he puts on the shoulder pads, he says he loses himself.

"When I put those shoulder pads on during Halloween, just walking around with all those kids, I still felt like I wanted to tackle somebody," he said with a laugh.

The only change in speech is in how Lewis talks, not in what he says.

Boyd became a Ravens fan in 2001 after they won Super Bowl XXXV, so he's watched many of Lewis' speeches over the years. In trying to impersonate him, he noticed that Lewis "talks with his front teeth."

The speeches are so similar to Lewis' that people on social media have arguments about whether it's really Lewis or an impersonator. Boyd hasn't gotten much sleep in recent weeks because he's so excited that he stays up late reading the comments.

"It's pretty [darn] good if you convince yourself that you ain't you," Boyd posted himself.

Now Boyd is, as Lewis says, getting ready for greatness!

He's making sure his body is cut by running three miles and lifting weights twice a day. He's well aware of Lewis' deck-of-cards push-up routine.

As long as Lewis is OK with it, Boyd wants to keep going. After all, just look how far NBA impersonator Brandon Armstrong has taken his talents. EPSN the Magazine wrote a feature story about him and he's often shown across the network's platforms.

"I wouldn't be surprised if I end up on a set somewhere. I'm really preparing for it," Boyd said.

"I want to show people. You're only seeing my head and shoulders. I played linebacker in college; it's not that much of an act to get out there and knock somebody out."

Ultimately, Boyd said he'd like to work out with Lewis. How trippy would that be?

"Then they can videotape him instead of me," Boyd said.

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