Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/2/13
After 17 seasons leading the Baltimore Ravens' dominant defense, Ray Lewis is retiring.Even after almost two decades in the league, it came as a surprise to the players in Baltimore."We all thought the great Ray Lewis was going to play forever," said fellow linebacker Terrell Suggs.Suggs didn't stop there, he than went on to say Lewis' legacy is of being the greatest linebacker of all time.Teammate and All-Star running back Ray Rice had to fight back tears during his interview saying he isn't prepared for the emotions he's feeling now. Rice ended his interview with a statement no one will disagree with: "Baltimore is Ray Lewis."Ray Lewis approached his team Wednesday morning saying, "This will be my last ride."With that, a legacy has is coming to an end. Knowing Ray Lewis however, he'll still find a way to inspire people off the field."I've ran my course. It's time for me to go create a different legacy."Lewis apparently spoke with Colts coach Chuck Pagano every week during his cancer treatment and said, "That brotherhood we created will never die."Just goes to show how much of a great person Lewis truly is, despite his tough alien-like brute exterior.In regards to Sundays matchup against the Colts, Lewis said walking out at home on Sunday will be "One of the most glorious moments of my life."17 years in, and Lewis finishes with 972 regular-season tackles, 41.5 sacks, 67 passes defended, an INSANE 31 Interceptions, 3 TD, and 17 forced fumbles.The 10-6 Baltimore Ravens will host the 11-5 Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.Lewis regarding Sunday's game, "Wherever it ends, it ends. But I didn't come back to be eliminated in the first round." 
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