Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/25/13
I consider myself a sophisticated enough fan to usually not let anything the media says influence my view of my teams or the game. This time it's different, This rubbed me the wrong way. I'd like to think I also watch the game with the intelligence of having played at a high level. Because of this, I consider myself an educated NFL fan.Some of the legends who have played this game are better riding off into the sunset and not tarnishing their legacy by saying things that are ridiculous--Ray Lewis-I'm talking about you. Discussing last night's  Broncos-Raiders game on Tuesday morning's ESPN Mike and Mike radio show, Ray Lewis said essentially that the game was not fair because the defense was handcuffed and that Terrelle Prior wasn't as equipped to make plays as Peyton Manning.He mentioned that Peyton Manning’s ability to change plays and alter the offense was "unfair" to other teams. Really?! That's why we play the game--Tom Brady brings the same element-- opposing defenses hardly fool either of them. This isn't little league ball where everyone gets a chance to play and then eats orange slices at halftime. These players are paid very well to win football games. Period. If you think something is unfair, then it is your job as a player to listen to your coaches and prepare for the game as best as you can. If the guy across the line of scrimmage works harder in his preparation than you do--that is your problem--not his. Manning is one of the hardest workers in the league--his time spent studying game films during the week, looking for an edge is legendary. All the elite QBs have done this to some degree. Lewis makes the comment that in the NFL, defenses have been regulated to the point of being irrelevant.Let me digress for a moment--as a football purest, I believe in a 4-3 defense with huge defensive tackles that stuff the middle and funnel everything to the outside players for contain, giving linebackers a huge opportunity to make plays. I don't really care for the 3-4 or Tampa 2 or all the hybrid defenses that are out there. I understand the need for them, and how they work. I just don't like them. That being said, let me return to Ray Lewis.  Of course defense has been hamstrung in the league. The only time fans care about good defense is if it is their team, or if a hit makes a highlight reel. How many fans like to see 9-6 games or 3-0 defensive struggles? If fans are honest the answer is none. The old phrase in baseball was "chicks dig the long ball" in football it's  "chicks dig the vertical passing game and long breaking runs." It's an offensive league, think back to NFL history, can many people besides the most extreme die hard fans name more than Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley on the Joe Montana era 49ers defenses?But all of us know Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Dwight Clark, and Roger Craig. Ray Lewis needs to shut up and realize that he is no longer playing. Ray, I agree that great defense is an essential part of the game, but people buy tickets to watch touchdowns. Ray you were a hall of fame linebacker and we all recognize how important your contributions were to the Ravens and to the game itself, but take it slow at ESPN and listen and learn from your colleagues before you open your mouth again. Please, for us the viewing public, the educated fan, please don't embarrass yourself. Some of us are actually rooting for you to make this transition and offer relevant opinions from a defensive perspective. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker