You have to hand it to the old linebacker. What he now lacks in physical talent, he makes up with miles of charisma. Actually, charisma isn't the right word. Ray Lewistranscends charisma. His personality traits no longer are contained by the English language.
Who else tearfully emotes to the heavens with a wild glint in his eye ... during "The Star-Spangled Banner"? Who can turn even the most mundane question from a media member into a rambling, emotional monologue about faith, trust and perseverance?
Call it the passion of the Ray.
"For me to come out and say that this is my last ride and for me now to be headed back to the Super Bowl for me possibly winning a second ring, how else do you cap off a career?" Lewis said following the Baltimore Ravens' 28-13 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday night. "How else do you honor your fans and give them everything they cheer for?
"Baltimore is one of the most loyal places since 1996 that I've ever been around. And the greatest reward you could ever give them is another chance at a Super Bowl. So man, the last ride? I can only tell you I'm along for the ride."
It's classic Ray Lewis. It's hard to tell exactly what he's talking about, but you can feel it. Maybe.
For the other Ravens, these playoffs are about giving Lewis a storybook ending to his career. He said Sunday it can be difficult walking into a locker room sometimes, knowing so many players want a moment of his time. That's kind of an odd thing to say, but then again, few players have ever commanded more respect in a locker room than No. 52.
"I've always said, 'When you leave your legacy, what will your legacy be?' " Lewis said. "And to hear men tell you they love you. And to hear men tell you they respect the life that you live. It's the ultimate."
Everything Ray Lewis says sounds like the final speech from your favorite sports movie. Now we get to sit back and see how it all ends.