Ray Lewis' speech leaves Baltimore Ravens in tears

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs insists future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis is the "ultimate leader," and there will "never be another like him."

Teammates tell Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver that Lewis indeed lived up to his reputation Saturday night with an 11-minute speech that left many of them sobbing.

"I mean, we were ready to die for each other out there," linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo said. "And I know that's a bit dramatic, but that's the way this team is. That's what Ray has talked about."

What was the subject of Lewis' stirring pep talk? Love.

"Love put us over the top," Ayanbadejo explained. "You wouldn't think it, because football is a game known for machismo and violence and toughness, but love is what drove our success. Just like the most epic action movies end up being love stories -- The Matrix, Star Wars, Gladiator. This Ravens team is a love story."

Lewis told teammates who nearly revolted in October that he's never loved a team like this year's Ravens team.

"And he included the 2000 team (which won the Ravens' only other Super Bowl)," Ayanbadejo said. "People were crying. He was crying. It was the last time he was ever gonna stand up in front of us. So it was an intimate, special moment that we had together."

Armed with his second Super Bowl title after the team's 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Lewis is at peace with his decision to walk away from teammates after this last ride.

"The only thing that ends for me, is football," Lewis said after the game. "Life really begins for Ray Lewis now."

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus