It’s my position that no single player in NFL history was more valuable to the history of his franchise than Ray Lewis is to the Ravens’. Upon joining the team in its first year in Baltimore, Lewis immediately helped establish the defensive identity for which the Ravens have since been known. Lewis has been named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year twice. The first time was in 2000, when he was also named the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV, in which the Ravens shut out the Giants offense (New York scored its only points on a kickoff return).
While admittedly it can be argued whether Peyton Manning was more important to the Colts’ history, or Joe Greene to the Steelers, or Dick Butkus to the Bears’, or Otto Graham to the Browns’ (and so on. . .), one fact about Lewis that’s indisputable is that today, May 15th, is his birthday. So as he turns 37, we here at TCIPF wish one of the greatest ever players – and best NFL Films’ mic’d up subjects – a Happy Birthday.