2:15 PM EST, January 8, 2013
I watched Ray Lewis do his final dance as a player on the field at M&T Bank Stadium immediately after the final play of the game ("Ray's day," Jan. 7). That was great to see. He is leaving the game on his own terms. I hope his head and his heart are in the right place, and that 20-plus years of hard-hitting football has left his brain in reasonably good condition.
Baltimore's fans, individually and collectively, need to be aware of warning signs of ill health and be prepared to take better care of Ray Lewis than San Diego took care of our retired star linebacker, Junior Seau. Junior's struggle with mental illness was no secret. In October of 2010, Junior drove his car over a cliff near the Pacific Ocean. This was 20 months before he ended his own life last May.
Even before stepping off of the world's biggest stage, Junior was beset with personal and financial problems. Ravens fans should help ensure that no one takes advantage of Ray financially and that each and every member of his family gets the positive support and opportunities needed to keep everyone on the right track.
I have never seen a more dominating defense than the Ravens when they won the Super Bowl after the 2000 season. Thank you, Ray Lewis, for 17 seasons exciting Ravens football.
Over those years, "dirty" football was played in places like New England (where Coach Bill Belichick illegally videotaped opponents in 2007), and in New Orleans (Coach Sean Payton was suspended last year for offering bounties for injuring opponents). The dance that Ray Lewis has been entertaining us with for over a decade? I don't think of it as the "dirty bird" dance, I remember it as the Proud Bird Dance!
Michael Alston, San Diego, Calif.
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