Ray Lewis Is Still Not Making Sense

He's fiery, but not always coherent—see his Super Bowl blackout conspiracy theory. And now that he's a talking head, we can expect a lot more fun in the future

What was Ray Lewis doing during the Super Bowl blackout? Devising conspiracy theories, apparently.
What was Ray Lewis doing during the Super Bowl blackout? Devising conspiracy theories, apparently. (Gerald Herbert/AP : Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Here’s an entertaining thought to contemplate as those last few remaining hours until the regular season opener tick down: Ray Lewis is about to start his career as an NFL talking head.

The man who recently authored the Super Bowl-blackout conspiracy theory, and who friend and former teammate, Joe Flacco, said didn’t make sense about 90 percent of the time in those made-for-television pre-game histrionics, will soon come into our living rooms on a weekly basis and give us the NFL world according to Ray.

This could be fun.

I don’t really care what ESPN is paying the former Baltimore Ravens great this season to impart his wealth of football insights. I’m more interested in what ESPN is paying the person who’s paid to keep Lewis on point, because that’s the toughest job in television this year, bar none.

Hang in there, America. If Lewis’ own quarterback didn’t know what he was talking about most of the time, there’s no reason we should be expected to. About the only thing we can count on is that Lewis will come out with a certifiable beauty every once in a while, like when he told the NFL Films’ America’s Game documentary series that he thinks someone turned the lights out on purpose in the second half of last season’s Super Bowl in New Orleans, with the Ravens up by 22 and in the process of blowing out San Francisco. You know, just to keep things interesting.

“I’m not gonna accuse nobody of nothing—because I don’t know facts,’’ Lewis said (and that much I agree with). “But you’re a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. No way.’’

Then, as only he can do, Lewis pivoted to growing up poor, and unpaid electric bills, and times getting hard, subtly intimating that the NFL and CBS (which carried the game) doesn’t really fall into that same socio-economic category.

“You cannot tell me somebody wasn’t sitting there and when they say, ‘The Ravens (are) about to blow them out. Man, we better do something,’ ’’ Lewis said. “That’s a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was, because it let them right back in the game.’’

Right. And Baltimore’s defensive letdown had nothing to do with that 17-point 49ers comeback after the lights went back on in the Superdome. It was the 34-minute blackout that entirely dictated the game’s proceedings. In all seriousness, that’s a darn handy way of looking at things if you happen to be the Ravens’ longtime defensive captain, but the rest of us are due back on planet Earth now.

And who knows, the Super Bowl blackout conspiracy—which has been formally debunked by the Warren Commission—could be just the appetizer in the feast to come with Lewis’ new career as a TV analyst. Monday nights may never be the same now that the future Hall of Fame linebacker has joined ESPN’s desk full of football experts.

C’mon, man, indeed.

Honesty compels me to point out that it’s we in the sports media, of course, who are partly to blame for treating every utterance from Lewis these past dozen or so years like pearls of wisdom handed down from on high. With or without something relevant and insight to say on a topic, his words were elevated to the level of headline news. He was the sage of Baltimore, and his seniority, gift of leadership and on-field heroics easily made for an iconic standing that was forged over the course of his 17 NFL seasons.

I get that. But as much as some want to make him out to be, Ray Lewis is not Buck O’Neill in football cleats. Not-to-be-missed life lessons don’t just tumble effortlessly out of his mouth. As Flacco succinctly noted, and the cameras always captured, Lewis at times spoke borderline gibberish in those passionate pre-game speeches he delivered to his team. It wasn’t so much what he was saying but how he was saying it (or screaming it) that seemed to work for Baltimore’s motivational purposes. It was a call to arms that made for much better theater than oratory. Kind of like John Belushi’s classic “When the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor’’ speech by Bluto in Animal House. (“Forget it, he’s on a roll.’’)

Ray's New Role

He was one of the most intense and passionate players ever, but can Ray Lewis succeed on TV? Richard Deitsch examines.

 

You can also check out Deitsch's 2013 NFL Broadcast Guide, with everything you need to know about where, when and how to get your football coverage on TV this season.

Off the field and away from the action, Lewis naturally can be much more thoughtful, articulate and soft-spoken, and he is reportedly doing well in learning the mechanics of broadcasting. But he can also speak in confusing, mysterious and circuitous ways at times, and occasionally goes off the conversational deep end, as the Super Bowl blackout conspiracy illustrated. It can be tough to follow his train of thought, which at times sounds as if it travels on a track only he can recognize.

I know one of the most pressing topics I want to hear Lewis delve deeply into in his new role on ESPN, but I doubt very much it’s going to get a lot of air time from him on Monday nights or Sunday afternoons: Lewis is uniquely qualified to shed light on the NFL’s major story of the offseason, the Aaron Hernandez murder charge, and how his own experience in the legal crosshairs of a double murder case played out in 2000. He has yet to say much about the Hernandez case, telling The MMQB’s Richard Deitsch in July that he would be “careful’’ with the issue:

“It would only be to give a brief explanation on what you know,’’ Lewis said. “Because if you are talking about getting into the case—what happened, how it happened—that’s the judge’s job, that’s the police’s job. Having gone through the things I have been through, what I learned from that is everybody has something they want to say, and 80 percent of them are illiterate. You have to be careful with it. You can’t speak about something you do not know. Give your opinion, and keep it moving from there.’’

Ah, but for Lewis, speaking about something you do not know means one thing in the Hernandez case and apparently another in regard to his suspicions about the Super Bowl power outage. It’s that ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth that could make Lewis must-see TV this fall. I know I’ll be watching.

The new season is here at last, and Ray Lewis is a talking head. This could be fun.

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89 comments
asterism1
asterism1

Ray Lewis has proven to be a complete moron on ESPN.  I just mute the TV when that dumb-a$$ is on.  what an idiot.

mellotronman424112
mellotronman424112

LSU was known to turn out the lights if the tigers were losing in Baton Rouge.

in the supwer bowl game I think it was a cajun who fancied himself an electrician who was resposible for the black out. still you never know about Louisiana folk. many are an in bred lot of swamp logic snake eaters.

StevenCurry
StevenCurry

hey   lets make  the non -profits   players of the nfl  pay  there taxes !

whollybabble
whollybabble

Just put this blithering idiot on the same show with Buffoon Berman and watch the ratings - if they're not already in the toilet -  plunge like an anvil in a swimming pool.

Are they serious? Ray- Freaking- Lewis? The same prance-around-like-a-spastic-rain dancer-and-scream-like-a-demented-banshee-moron who made me want to vomit every time his clownish antics came across my TV screen?

This has to be some sadist's idea of a joke. 

A very cruel joke.


Boby
Boby

Ray Lewis is a thug that got away with murdering 2 people and does not belong anywhere but in Jail for the rest of his life.

ESPN will suffer in the ratings and I hope they pay a hefty price for hiring this MURDER. No more ESPN for me and hopefully millions.

ROCKFRI
ROCKFRI

I for one can't believe Ray Lewis is on TV , he's a murder for crying out load , whenever I flip over to a channel he's on I just turn it again , how many other murders do we have on TV , none please he should never be on national television

Kevin100
Kevin100

I don't get Mr. King's bashing of Ray Lewis.  Vegas was losing big.  They certainly did not have a Ravens blow out win covered.  The 30 min. break gave the 49rs time to re-make offensive and defensive adjustments that they failed to make coming out at the half.  The Ravens did not have the same need to make adjustments as they were blowing them out.  A journalist would ask those staffs the activity level and adjustments made after that time period.  An apologist would sit there like Mr. King and without any investigations, dismiss the claims as baseless.  Protect the shield and your cushy access.  I wish someone had the guts to look into this further. 

B28
B28

I actually think someone turned out the lights on purpose too. I don't see the problem, except that, as a younger man than me, Ray is beginning to spend too much time and energy being anxious about it and he needs to move forward from here. I will totally listen to what he has to say about professional football just as much and probably more than I do the National networks "experts"; many of which last took the field nearly since before most football fans "were even born". Its a new game with bigger money for the players and the owners and sports book gambling probably in the billions of $$ each week worldwide.

AlfredLeffall
AlfredLeffall

Joe Flap-off is a joke,an has been overpaid,for him to try an cut down ''Ray Lewis'',by saying he never understood him 90-% of the

time,is an insult,to the game's greatest linebacker,an a first ballot hall of famer,FLACO will be forever known as ''flackoff''''''''''''''''''''

Charles51
Charles51

Forget Flacco, saying he don't understand Ray Lewis 90 % of the time. Is Flacco mental? Nobody has a problem understanding Ray Lewis, This Hall Of Famer on his first eligibility is the most passionate and colorful gridiron greats to ever don pads and laced up his cleats. Flacco sounds like he was jealous because Ray was the real Leader of the Ravens and not him period, get a life Flacco.

CarlRobbins
CarlRobbins

...It's a nog, they never make any sense. 

Matt73
Matt73

Do you blame them for trying to find someone worse than Charles Barkley?

texpete
texpete

I am not commenting on the debate or Ray Lewis per se, but it seems that the conspiracy theory surrounds money the networks would lose when people turned the channel if there was a blowout.  I understand how networks make their money.  They sell advertising, and they base the price of a commercial on last weeks (or some rolling tally) of Nielson ratings.  Right?  I mean the more popular the program in a given demographic last week, the more they can charge for this week. I know that it is an over simplification, but for the purposes of my question it will do.  So that is the data the ad sales team using to convince a business or company to run their commercial during "Mike and Molly" rather than Monday Night Football. 

However, in the Superbowl there is actually a bidding war between companies who want to buy ad space.  Since last year's ratings won't accurately predict this years, retailers most likely base their bids on the popularity the two teams playing.  Same thing next year I'm guessing.  So it seems to me that the network, NFL, and anyone else tied into the deal has their money up front.  Regardless how many people tune in or tune out.  Am I right?  Every time I hear that accusation, I have a hard time understanding how the blackout did anything but hurt the network.  The next time the bid to air the Superbowl comes up, I have to think it hurts their chances of getting it, causing a real loss of income. 

Is this true?  Or even sound reasoning on my part.  I am admittedly no expert on how the NFL makes it's money so, feel free to educate me.  (The only people it seems to me who would lose money in a blow out if people quit watching would be local bars, but the NFL never has cared about the little guy so let me qualify my remarks.)

pcwag33
pcwag33

The blackout being unintentional is a much bigger zany conspiracy theory.  Lewis is almost certainly correct.  Does anyone really think the cabal of NFL owners (nee greedy old creeps) is about anything other than revenue stream?  Can we get and stay real for a while and see the NFL for big money matrix it has become?  What would the old timers say?

the dave
the dave

Actually the lights went out in response to Madonnas devil worshiping halftime show.

efmotorsportmatt
efmotorsportmatt

People talk about Ray like is a idiot, Well if possibly being call one of the greatest ever to play his position and two championships, two mvps, and numerous pro bowls makes him a idiot, then what exactly are you fools. You guys sound flat out stupid

DickDouglas
DickDouglas

Ray just won't face the Truth about that power failure:  God doesn't LIKE HIM.  :)


MollyBrown
MollyBrown

Ray Lewis is a criminal and an idiot. Anything that comes out of his mouth, especially "post I've found Jesus" period isn't worth the paper it is printed on. The guy was witness to a murder! He not only tried to cover it up, but now he goes on ESPN and says that the trouble he was in wasn't HIS fault, it was the people he surrounded himself with, it was THEIR fault!

As far as the power outage during the Super Bowl, really, he can't possibly believe that.


PS- Where's your bloody clothes, Ray? Where did you girl friend hide them upon your request that night? Oh, yeah, that's not your fault either.

I think Ray and Michael Irvin ought to just go somewhere and live out their lives in quiet peace. Me personally, I will not watch ESPN or NFL TV anymore until these two are removed and the networks apologize to their loyal fans for graciously giving us the opportunity to listen to these two. Chris Carter and Prime Time are almost as bad................. 

SteveAllen2
SteveAllen2

To try to dismiss Ray Lewis because of his opinion on this issue I'm sorry smells of jealousy. Yes we all know what Ray was talking about and Most of the country was on the same page as Ray regarding the power failure in the most critical part of the Super Bowl in one of the most mob up cities in America. If you don't get it Don Banks it speaks more of your credibility then it does of Ray Lewis'.


Bill93
Bill93

I'm particularly glad the children get to hear Ray. Not only does he speak authentic gibberish, he clearly states what needs to be said.

pyjujiop
pyjujiop

Who's to say he isn't right about the lights going out? I can buy what he's saying, and it did disrupt the Ravens.

RichieJeff
RichieJeff

To be honest, when the light went out during the Superbowl, I thought the same thing. It makes sense. People are more likely to change the channel if the game is a blow out.

Theresa Hall
Theresa Hall

It's not that serious folks! It is Flacco's

Team Now, we can all watch brilliance in the making....or notnot

drewskee96d
drewskee96d

They Conspiracy theory maybe true other than that maybe it was Beyonce's fault the lights went out, lolOn another note Ray Lewis is the man one of the Greatest Players and Inspirational leader

fnds
fnds

I wonder who Ray is going to blame for last night's blowout to Denver. That lightning delay could not have been a coincidence.

clanMOH
clanMOH

To be honest I applaud Ray Lewis for speaking out about the blackout. It's 2013 and you don't believe the NFL had backups to their backups planned out in case of an emergency? Ravens go up 28-6 to start the second half, and I read somewhere that around 8 million people changed the channel. That was with a full half of football to go! How much revenue would the NFL lose? Pull the plug, the let aging Ravens defense linger and get cold, let the 49ers gather themselves. 


It's pretty much what happened, I'm not saying I'm 100% sure, but you'd be foolish to believe that the NFL (which makes hundreds of BILLIONS) is above cheap tactics to continue to help their bottom line. 

cpu_f1xer
cpu_f1xer

...sort of like the incoherent ramblings of Don Banks?

kurt c
kurt c

@Kevin100 

They miss you at the home; better go back and get back on the medication. How ridiculous it is to complain when you win. I am sure I know a great deal more about this than you do. I am talking Ohm's law and electrical theory since that is, after all at the crux of the matter. Electrical components fail as every man made part of anything has the potential to do. I always respected Ray Lewis and appreciated his play. But his conspiracy theory is just plain crazy.

BillMiller1
BillMiller1

@Charles51 He was pretty passionate whe he murdered that guy.  For his last 5 or 6 years he was the most over rated player in the game.  He did more dancing than hitting.

Brian K
Brian K

@ChloeSmith He should be in jail but he took a plea in which he implicated his friends in the murders.

.....good guy!

JeffreyMason
JeffreyMason

@ChloeSmith Ray was not at the scene of the Atlanta murder in 2000. He finally spoke on this topic to then team mate Shannon Sharpe. The interview aired before the Superbowl. Ray Lewis said It was just the district attorney and me in the room. He said "Mr. Lewis, we know you didn't do it; buy you're going down for it!" Before the murder he warned former college team mates not to get into any crap because it will all fall on him.

Keep in mind that when Steeler QB  Ben Rothlisberger got onto trouble last year regarding potential rape charges the first man to call him was Ray Lewis. He said these country boys don't like us down here: Here's my lawyer's # who got me outta here.

CalvertonStation
CalvertonStation

@pcwag33 The NFL is a greedy $9B entity who is hell bent on screwing US NFL fans by sticking a team in Europe.  However, the idea of a conspiracy involving the blackout is beyond ridiculous, serves no purpose and would not put money in the owns pockets.

MichaelFanner
MichaelFanner

@MollyBrown Molly u are the classic believer in what u hear in the media. The real story is he was there and his people were involved  in a fight someone died. You act as if he did the killing which is wrong. Now let me ask u what have u done in your life that you keep a secret. I bet you have some strong skeletons in your closet. Morale the story is before u pour salt on someone make sure your house is in order. Lose the racist attitude u would be much better because we are not really giving a damn about it.

JerryO'dell
JerryO'dell

@MollyBrown  Enough already! You proving the 80% illiterate quote by Ray.  Take some time to read the Court Case, instead of some BS Articles on the case.  And next time, 2 Drug Dealing Wanted Felons confront you in an ally demanding jewelry... curl up in a ball and scream.  Cause I guess that's what Lewis and his Buddies were suppose to do. Go back to your seat at the Idiot Convention. 

kurt c
kurt c

@SteveAllen2 You have no basis to say most of the country... I know many NFL fans, most of them Raven fans and NOT ONE thinks this was a conspiracy. Sheep are so easily led.

kurt c
kurt c

@pyjujiop Don't give the other team any credit in the comeback. It was all due to the blackout. What dolts, what buffoons.

kurt c
kurt c

@fnds Talk about conspiracies, anyone who could possibly have known anything about the Lincoln assassination is dead. Coincidence, I don't think so.

BillMiller1
BillMiller1

@JeffreyMason @ChloeSmith More conspiracy?  You people are whack jobs!  Ray is a murderer.  Ironically, a group of Ravens is known as a "murder".  Look it up.  LMAO

kurt c
kurt c

@CalvertonStation @pcwag33 

I agree. These people who believe in this are nuts. It is however, understandable as they were all abducted by aliens who implanted the idea.

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