Ray Lewis shocked the sports world by announcing that he will retire following the end of the Baltimore Ravens’ 2012 season, and Twitter was the outlet for many NFL fans and pundits to voice their appreciation.
The Baltimore Ravens reported the linebacker’s announcement and provided an image of him making his statement:
Ray Lewis announcing he will retire after this season: twitter.com/Ravens/status/…— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 2, 2013
Lewis has been sidelined with a triceps injury for most of his 17th season as a professional, but he has been taken off the injured reserve list, and he will be available for the playoffs.
Fans will have to soak up every moment left of Lewis' career, as he is one of the all-time greats, and there likely will not be a player like him any time soon. Here are the top tweets following Lewis’ announcement.
CBS Sports' Mike Freeman summed up exactly how many NFL fans view Lewis:
Ray Lewis retiring. Best middle linebacker of all time.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) January 2, 2013
NFL Network's Rich Eisen points out that this may be the end of one career for Lewis, but he would have little trouble starting a new one:
If he's so inclined, Ray Lewis will essentially be able to choose whichever seat on NFL sports television he cares to occupy.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) January 2, 2013
While the Faux John Madden account is often snarky and sarcastic, it only came through with reverence for the Ravens star:
Ray Lewis to retire at end of season.Respect to one of the best players to ever play the game.— Faux John Madden (@FauxJohnMadden) January 2, 2013
Albert Breer of NFL.com provided a few numbers and a bit of perspective on Lewis' accomplishments:
Ray Lewis is 37 years old, in his 17th NFL season, with over 2K tackles. The defining defensive player of his era.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 2, 2013
While Lewis' stats were certainly impressive, Sportsnet's Jim Lang notes that Lewis' greatness is due to more than just numbers:
No matter what you think of the man - Ray Lewis never took a day off and never cheated the game. He was the best of the best. #Ravens— Jim Lang (@JimLang590) January 2, 2013
CBS Sports' Will Brinson stuck with the angle of Lewis' contributions that do not have to do with stats, but he chose to focus only on the upcoming Wild Card showdown:
#ChuckStrong vs. Ray Lewis Retirement Revival in the Baltimore-Indy Intangible Bowl. Who ya got?— Will Brinson (@willbrinson) January 2, 2013
The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson reported a quote from Ravens safety Bernard Pollard showing that the news will provide the team with added motivation:
Bernard pollard 'we are trying to get to louisiana we want to send ray out right'— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) January 2, 2013
Wilson's colleague Jeff Zrebiec reported that Baltimore running back Ray Rice was also quick to show his appreciation:
Ray Rice fighting back tears. Said Ray Lewis raised him.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) January 2, 2013
For those who were missing Faux John Madden's usual tone, it did not take long for him to return to it:
BREAKING:Tony Romo sent Ray Lewis a retirement gift but it was unfortunately intercepted once again by a Redskins defender— Faux John Madden (@FauxJohnMadden) January 2, 2013
ESPN's Ross Tucker has the unique perspective of actually having tried to block Lewis, and he displayed no doubt about the linebacker's legendary status:
Ray Lewis is the best player I ever played against— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) January 2, 2013
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