Not sure what the over-under line was on the length of Ray Lewis’s speech after the Ravens unveiled his statue on Thursday morning at M&T Bank Stadium, but no one was complaining after he talked for 31 minutes about his life, his family, his career and his teammates.
Lewis has always been a great orator, so it was just a matter of striking the right balance between honoring his own legacy and honoring the other people who contributed to it.
He did that well, recognizing important family members and pivotal figures in his career among the large group of invited guests that included the family of Johnny Unitas, olympian Michael Phelps and the mother of former Ravens quarterback Steve McNair. He was joined on the stage by Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, Ravens president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome.
Since Lewis didn’t leave a lot out, it’s probably fair to assume that the hundreds of fans who showed up at the stadium on Thursday got a pretty good preview of the speech he’ll give when he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
The statue, produced by Frederick Kail, depicts Lewis upright and helmetless at the end of his signature pregame dance. Kail also produced the bronze of Unitas that will no longer stand alone in the plaze outside Gate A.