Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 2, 2013

PARRINO: Deciphering the Ray Lewis Legacy


Niagara Gazette —

Two weeks ago, I found myself defending him because of the perception I have of the person he has become and the way he took advantage of his second chance. But then I stopped and really thought about it. 

We don't know who these people really are and all we have to go on is what they'll tell us. Lewis refuses to talk about the events of that day, nor could I find anything ever written about him reaching out to the family of the victims to share his, at the very least, condolences. 

When you turn on the video game Madden 2013, Lewis appears on screen to deliver an inspirational 90-second vignette that captures the spirit of a generation and further entrenches him as the father figure of modern football.

But the real Lewis is a mystery — someone we'll never know, camouflaged by warmup dances, pre-game speeches and religious blabber — as if some higher power decided to interject on Lewis' behalf.

Somewhere inside I'll always respect what Lewis has done on the field, there is no contesting his greatness within goal lines. But his lack of character off the field, even if only for one night, will always cast a larger shadow.

Find Tonawanda News sports editor Matt Parrino on Twitter @MattParrino.

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