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Why I Don’t Root For Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis’ play and personality has amassed him a countless base of fans stretching across the sporting landscape.  I am not one of those fans.

Scott Halleran, Getty Images

In recent weeks, as Ray Lewis’ legendary career has wound to its Super Bowl close, the sporting world has exploded with praises and well-wishes for a man who is likely the greatest to ever play his position.  I wish I could join the party, but I find myself unable.

I am not a Ray Lewis fan, and I haven’t been ever since a well-chronicled night some 13 years ago.  When one fight left two men dead.

Now I don’t pretend to know exactly what happened that night, and it should certainly be said that Ray Lewis was never convicted of murder, but what I do know is this: the first-ballot Hall of Famer was, in some way, involved in a street fight that eventually took the lives of two men.

And for me, that is enough.

Maybe I’m not a “real man,” but I’ve never understood bar fights.  I’ve never understood why a night at the club has to become a royal rumble.  And looking beyond the situation of Ray Lewis, I’ve never understood carrying a gun to the club, and I’ve certainly never understood domestic abuse and driving drunk.

And I’ve never wanted to root for those who did.

Again, maybe I’m just missing something.  I’ll be the first to admit that there’s not much I share in common with twenty-something world class athletes boasting obscene amounts of discretionary income.  And I am certainly guilty of judging books by their cover, but when the cover is all I’m given, it is on that which I am forced to give my opinion.

So when the Ravens and 49ers kick off tonight, many fans will be excited to be watching Ray Lewis’ last ride, the final game of a legend.  Me?  I’ll merely be watching the Super Bowl.

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