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Viewpoint: Ray Lewis deserves Super Bowl win to end career

As most of you know, the Baltimore Ravens pulled out a win against the Denver Broncos on Saturday. With that win, the Ravens advance to the AFC Championships next weekend.

But that’s not what we are here to discuss. The real highlight of the Ravens’ season is Ray Lewis.

Lewis has been in the NFL for 17 years. He is considered to be one of the best linebackers of his era. He was the second linebacker to win the Super Bowl MVP and the first linebacker to win the MVP award on winning the Super Bowl. Earlier this season, Lewis tore his tricep, which sidelined him for most of the season. He was cleared to play and declared he was going to retire at the end of the playoffs.

Lewis has become something of a legend, and he is also one of the best-known defensive players today. After Saturday, Lewis’ name was all over social networking. He is the big story in the NFL right now, a legendary career on its way to a perfect ending. Everyone loves a happy, fairytale ending, right? Fairytales consist of romance, true love and the good guy always overcoming evil. Sports fairytales consist of the underdog coming out on top, breaking through whatever barriers they face. This last season for Lewis is no different.

Lewis has always been a leader of the team. He gives the most epic pregame speeches (seriously, if you haven’t ever seen Lewis give a pump-up speech, Google it) that always get the team in the right mindset for competition. In a sport as hazardous as football, every game is a risk. Lewis played every game like it could be his last. He overcame a serious injury and made it back to help facilitate wins for his team in the postseason. He has handed the reigns over to quarterback Joe Flacco. But he’s still there to finish this season strong. This weekend could be the last time he ever plays football (unless he pulls a Brett Favre, but we don’t think he will).

Lewis is not perfect. He’s made mistakes on the field and in life that have impacted his reputation. But, despite all of that, he has kept his head held high with pride in himself. Lewis should be put into the Football Hall of Fame. He has the stats to do so, and he has had one of the longest careers — he has played football for more than 20 years, not counting high school, middle school or Little League. You have to really love what you do to stick with something that long.

Lewis has made an impact on the way the game is played. The Ravens need to win the AFC championship and the Super Bowl to send their fearless leader off. If the Ravens win the Super Bowl, it will be the perfect ending to a sports fairytale.

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