Ray Lewis Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Ray Lewis was the oldest in a family of five children, and he was born in the Florida outpost of Bartow, in 1975. His birth name was Ray Jenkins, and his father was never there in his growing up years. His mother was aged 16 at the time of his birth and was called Sunseria. As Ray Lewis grew up, he was disgusted that his father never made contact and this made him go for a name change by adopting her mother’s boyfriend’s name, Ray Lewis. This was how his father, Elbert Ray Jackson finally got obscured from his life.
Ray Lewis was very protective of his siblings as he grew up by ensuring his younger brother got to the daycare early. Ray also lent a helping hand to his sisters, by making their hair. By the time enrolled at Kathleen High School, Ray Lewis was already known as Ray Lewis. In school, Ray featured a football player and wrestler. Though he was small in size, Ray displayed a fierce intensity and natural instincts as a linebacker.
Ray Lewis hauled an array of state titles during his years in high school. Ray also won a couple of his city’s competitive diadems as well.
The University Of Miami Years
Ray Lewis won a scholarship to head to the University of Miami in 1992, and he was in line to enroll for the best football program of the time.Ray took up the reputation as a vital linebacker in defense of the Hurricanes. Ray Lewis was to notch the 5th all-time best record for tackles in the history of the University of Miami. As his junior year ended, Lewis won the runner-up place in the awards for the best linebacker also known as the Butkus Award.
Ray Lewis entered in a draft for the Biltmore Ravens as the 1995 season opened. He made it to the first round pick at the onset of spring 1996.
The entire 17 years playing career of Ray Lewis was spent at the Ravens. In his rookie season, Lewis led his side in tackles and was a mean force to reckon with in the field of play. Ray Lewis notched the NFL year 2000 Defensive Player of the Year award. As the years drew out, Ray became the 6th player in the exciting history of the NFL to win it several times.
Ray Lewis's trips to the Pro Bowl totaled 13 in all and made it to the list for the NFL's Team of the Decade (2000 to 2010)
Most Memorable Seasons
The buffs of the game call the year 2000 season the most memorable for Lewis as he led his team to Super Bowl title. Also, Ray also clinched the MVP for the final game. In the same season, the Ravens set a record for the fewest rushing yards, and they recorded only four shutouts in the entire season. In 16 games, the Ravens registered the fewest points allowed in the championships.
Ray Lewis played the spiritual leader for the Ravens on the field and surged in high energy into his thirty’s. By 2013, it was another victory at the Super Bowl for the Lewis-led Ravens.
Ending a Career
Like for every good thing, an end must come, and so it was for Lewis. As the 2012 season came by, Ray began to slow down, and he was laid –off the field as a result of the injury he suffered to his triceps. Lewis was no longer able to dominate the field like he used to earlier on. Ray Lewis was prepared for retirement and fans of the Ravens were struck. Somehow, Ray Lewis's teammates fought high on spirit and were able to record huge victories over sides like the New England Patriots led by Tom Brady and the Denver Broncos led by Peyton Manning.
On the 3rd of February 2013, Ray Lewis was on track for his final game during the Super Bowl XLVII, that held in New Orleans, Louisiana. They defeated the 49ers from San Francisco on an aggregate of 34 to 31. Ray was already 37 years old, and he bade farewell to the game at this place and time.
Controversies And Dark Spots
Going forward, Ray Lewis was roped in when a murder occurred outside a nightclub as Atlanta hosted Super Bowl XXXIV on January 21 in the year 2000. There was a double murder that night after the Super Bowl fixture; While the details are mired in steam, Lewis was stained by the occurrence and his linkage to the crime. It was indicated that a fight occurred that involved members of Lewis’ entourage that night.
Ray Lewis was held in jail for 11 days and faced indictment along with two other persons for the fateful evening. He was accused of lying to the Police by denying he did not know the assailants. Key evidence such as the white suit that was blood-stained which was crucial evidence to nail Lewis was never seen. Ray Lewis had to agree to a plea bargain after that to be left off the hook. He had to plead guilty to obstruction of justice and was set free on the counts of murder and aggravated assault. He was slammed with one-year probation as a result. The NFL fined Lewis during this 2000 season, and he paid up $250,000 as a result.
The second dark spot that appeared on Lewis cloud of fame came in the early part of 2013. Ray Lewis was accused of doping by using deer antler. The supplement is banned by the NFL and is reputed as a controversial substance high in Insulin-styled growth-boosting agents. Lewis, however, managed to steer clear of the fall that could have resulted from this allegation. It was thought that his recovery from his triceps injury was partly due to this dope.
Ray Lewis is attributed with more than 2,000 tackles during his 17 years playing career with the Ravens. His regular season games totaled 228. Lewis was also named in the 2000 season as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He reprised this in 2003.
Ray Lewis is known to have dated Tatyana Renee McCall for more than ten years. The pair met while at the University of Miami and had six children, made up of 3 sons and three daughters.