Ray Lewis Inspires Ravens for 2012

The post-game speech Ray Lewis gave in the locker room after the loss to New England in the AFC title game already has received lots of attention. He didn’t talk long, just over a minute, but it was a very interesting way to start the transition into 2012. 

In the moments after a crushing loss like that, someone should step up and be a leader in a locker room—high school, college, professional or whatever. Lewis sets the tone for the defense and the team. He did it again with the emotional speech. 

Lewis told the defense and the rest of the Ravens they had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and to remember that only one team wins the championship. He implored Joe Flacco not to be down because he played a certain part of his body off. 

He also said this also would motivate them going forward.

“Every time you go through something like this, it has to drive you,” Lewis said when talking to the media after the game. “I truly believe that it is the only thing that makes people great. It’s not the ones that’s always winning that people remember. It’s the ones that go through tough times.”

And the Ravens have been through a few of those, even though they’re respected as one of the NFL’s top franchise. 

But now they’ve got something to drive them while working for next year. Lewis said he’ll certainly be motivated. 

“As a team, we have been through every up and down roller-coaster through this journey, but for us to be here now, I’m hungry again,” Lewis said. “I’m thirsty again. Life offers too much, it really does. 

Take a few seconds and look at Lewis’ post-game remark to the team. And listen to how quiet it is in that locker room. That’s where the value of a leader like Lewis can be measured. You can hear a pin drop while he's speaking.

The team paid attention to his message. The frustration of that loss will be around for awhile. But it will make them work that much harder, and the players would have been motivated anyway. Lewis just gave them a little extra push and quietly made them realize that 2011 was done, and it’s time for 2012. 

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