Ray Lewis punches dance card for last time

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 06, 2013
Ray Lewis began his final playoff run with one last dance in the home of the Baltimore Ravens. The 37-year-old Lewis will end his 17-year NFL career after the Ravens complete a postseason that began with Sunday's first-round game against the Indianapolis Colts. Lewis returned to his middle linebacker position after a 10-week absence. Minutes before the opening kickoff, Lewis thrilled the sellout crowd during introductions by coming out of the tunnel and gyrating to the tune ''Hot in Herre.'' Hundreds of fans had their cellphones raised to either take a picture or videotape the moment. Lewis does the dance only before home games, and this was Baltimore's last this season at M&T Bank Stadium. If the Ravens don't win Sunday, it will be Lewis' final game. If they beat the Colts, the Ravens will next play on Saturday in Denver. Lewis concluded pre-game warmups by addressing the entire team on the 5-yard line. After his short speech, Lewis hugged a few teammates, mingled with a few people in the crowd and jogged to the sideline, where he engaged in a lengthy embrace with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Thousands of fans were wearing No. 52 jerseys. Lewis has been a fan favorite in Baltimore since he was selected in the first round of the Ravens' initial draft in 1996. Ken Malik, 61, wore a purple Lewis jersey and a broad smile. ''It's the end of an era for the Baltimore Ravens,'' he said. ''He's been a great player. He's stood for what the Baltimore Ravens are and what they have been since they (came) to Baltimore.'' There is no age limitation for fans of Lewis, who made his NFL debut when Kylie O'Neill-Mullin was 4. She was wearing a long black tunic with Lewis' number on the front and back. ''This is a big deal. It's the last time he'll come out of the tunnel,'' she said. ''It's the last time he'll play on this field. I'm excited to be here.'' One fan had a sign with a purple heart and the No. 52 in the middle. Earlier, a helicopter flew overhead with the No. 52 painted on its undercarriage. Lewis was sidelined since Oct. 14 with a torn right triceps. He worked diligently to return in time for the playoffs, and his hard work paid off. Lewis was elected to 13 Pro Bowls and is a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He told his teammates on Wednesday, ''This will be my last ride.'' --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Worst: NFL Week 2
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michigan is now all-time winningest program in college football history

Wisconsin Badgers serve notice to Michigan State, rest of Big Ten

Ole Miss Rebels throttle Georgia, remain in New Year's Six bowl race

Broncos brass made right decision on parting ways with QB Osweiler

Wideout Dorial Green-Beckham to become more of a target says Eagles

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is the NFL actively creating more opportunities for women in football?

Report claims Vikings teammates "upset" over Peterson surgery decision

Check out these bold predictions for Week 3 in the NFL

Jets wideout Brandon Marshall says Week 3 "not" in the cards for him

49ers QB Colin Kaepernick joins high school team for anthem protest

Dodgers honored Vin Scully tonight, and he wrote a letter to fans

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

Five MLB pitchers who need to be rescued from their teams

CFB Crash Course: Week 4 - No ranking is safe

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank among these notable athletes?

Five sports stadiums that should be renamed

WNBA playoffs head into second round after single eliminations

A 25-year award tour: Celebrating A Tribe Called Quest

YB Box Score: 9/23 - Win totals and the jobbing renaissance

WATCH: Is Anthony Davis the best Kentucky big man in the NBA?

NFL Kickoff: Week 3 - Pity the perpetually rebuilding Browns

Questions from reviewing the Vegas 2016-17 NBA win totals

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

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank?

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

Five MLB pitchers who need to be rescued from their teams

Five sports stadiums that should be renamed

WNBA playoffs head into second round after single eliminations

CFB Crash Course: Week 4 - No ranking is safe

A 25-year award tour: Celebrating A Tribe Called Quest

WATCH: Is Anthony Davis the best Kentucky big man in the NBA?

A statistical trip thru Vin Scully’s extraordinary career

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