I can’t help it; I think Ray Lewis looks like an idiot doing his squirrel dance theatrics. His former teammate, Trevor Pryce, told me that most of the veterans would just kind of roll their eyes and sort of half-heartedly go through the motions.
“ARE THERE ANY DOGS IN THE HOUSE???” Lewis would bellow.
“Woof. Woof. Woof?” older/smarter player would sarcastically answer.
However, my main man, Alfred Williams, would tell me that he needed stuff like that before a game. Certainly, the crowd eats it up and the energy it provides matters for… well… for… hmmm… kickoff?
The fact of the matter is that aside from being really excited for introductions, these players have to find their own fire and most of the great ones do. It’s no coincidence that these guys are where they are. The amount of training and dedication it takes to succeed at this level at this time of the year is mind-boggling. All these men have my utmost respect. You can see why a dude rubbing grass on his chest is somewhat, well, how do I put this – stupid.
Pryce said that the Ravens culture was one of the most unique and bizarre NFL situations. The feeling was that the defense WAS the Ravens and then there were those other guys — you know — the offense. Pryce said that Joe Flacco SHOULD be the leader of the team, but there are these ridiculous personalities on the Ravens D that suffocate woebegone Joe. So, what happens when that defense talks the talk, but can’t walk the walk? We will find out Saturday.
Brian Dawkins would go though some speaking in tongues configurations every once in a while, but it hardly defined him. I promise you, there is no way that Dawkins would finish a game in the offensive victory formation doing a squirrel dance.
Dawkins finished his career doing wind sprints in practice, quietly hoping that his body could sustain one final game. He didn’t get that “LOOK AT ME MOMENT” that Lewis obviously desired so much. Dawkins went out like he came in, fierce and humble. Dawkins went out with humility and pride surrounded by friends, family and former teammates that were inspired by him day in and day out.
Wesley Woodyard warmly embraced Dawkins in the locker room after a home Broncos win this year, thrilled to see his biggest mentor and Dawkins reciprocated in the embrace proud of his overachieving pupil. Don’t for a second mistake the quiet, machine-like routine of the Broncos for a lack of intensity that matches and indeed surpasses the circus-like sideshow that has become Ray Lewis.
Pryce hit the nail on the head when he said that this Ravens team just isn’t very good and they know it. What happened in Baltimore less than a month ago portends to a dismal Saturday afternoon for this old, slow and soon to be washed up Ravens squad.
We all know what is happening here. Why? Because the Broncos went through it last year. An incredibly emotional win over the Steelers in the playoffs followed a late regular season slide. Broncos Country was coming up with all sorts of wild ideas about how Tim Tebow was going to beat the epic New England Patriots at home. I remember it well. The Broncos were going to be better against Belichick the second time around. Tebow was NOT going to turn the ball over. Hey, Denver ALMOST beat them last time if just a few things went our way. Man, if Quan Cosby doesn’t muff that punt giving the Pats points right before halftime, that game turns out totally different!
Sound familiar? The Ravens have the misguided thought that Chris Harris’ pick six was some sort mirage. They think that if old, injured players are now slightly less injured, yet just as old, THAT is going to make a big difference.
All the emotion of last weekend is now sunk at the bottom of the Chesapeake with future crab cakes and dead bodies from The Wire. Reality will come in a wintry Rocky Mountain wave on Saturday.
ARE THERE ANY DOGS IN THE HOUSE??????
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