How a Super Bowl Win Would Affect Ray Lewis' Legacy

Dilan Ames@@DilanAmesNFLCorrespondent IJanuary 30, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 29:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens smiles as he walks to the podium to answer questions from the media during Super Bowl XLVII Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 29, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Baltimore Ravens on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It is safe to say that we have not seen many players like Ray Lewis before. After 17 seasons in the NFL, there is a strong case to be made that Ray Lewis is the best linebacker of all time. 

Looking back, Ray Lewis has won every award he could have possibly won. Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, defensive player of the year and countless Pro Bowl appearances. So, for a guy who has done it all, how would another Super Bowl ring affect his legacy?

Sure, every player wants to have more than one Super Bowl ring, but would it really change how we view Ray Lewis’ career? And if the Ravens lose, would that negatively affect his legacy? 

Ray Lewis is a guy who has done it all and then some. His passion and love for the game is evident every time he steps on the field. 13 years after his first Super Bowl win, Lewis says that things are different this time around, that he is different this time around. 

Yesterday, during Media Day, Lewis said the biggest difference about this Super Bowl as compared to his first is that back then he was then a follower, but is now a leader. He mentions how, during the Ravens’ first Super Bowl run,  he was following the lead of then-Ravens Shannon Sharpe and Rod Woodson, but now he is the guy leading the way

"I had Shannon (Sharpe) leading the way the whole time, and really just following his lead, listening to Rod (Woodson), and I was up under their coat tails. Now, coming back this time, it’s kind of different, because it’s always, ‘What are we going to do here? What’s going on here?’ So, now I come back as a leader this time, and so I think that is the biggest difference."

The way Lewis impacts his team now is very different than how he impacted his team before. He has become a pillar of Baltimore’s defense and has blossomed into arguably the greatest defender ever.

What it all boils down to is this: Another Super Bowl ring would not affect Lewis’ career, nor would a loss. It’s hard to say that a Super Bowl win is somewhat pointless, but it would only add to Lewis‘ already incredible resumé. 

Sure, it’d be a nice way to end his time in the NFL, but he has nothing left to prove. He’s overcome injury, off the field issues, many frustrating years with the Ravens, and he’s still shined bright. While it would certainly be nice to have another ring on his finger, it wouldn’t make a difference. 

Lewis is a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer, and win or lose come Sunday, he will still be one of the greatest players to ever lace ‘em up.