July is quickly approaching kids, and you know what that means.... FOOTBALL SEASON!!!...
The quote that serves as the title for this post is a quote by Ray Lewis to describe himself after tweaking his offseason workout regimen. In order to lose what little body fat he still had left, Ray added kickboxing, wrestling, and swimming to his routine (I'd hate to have been the guy who had to wrestle Ray Lewis). As a result, Lewis is as lean and as fit as he has ever been in his 11 year playing career. To reiterate, a man who twice won defensive MVP, a Super Bowl MVP, and an 8 time Pro Bowler is in the best shape of his life. That, my friends, might be the definition of scary.
Unfortunately, the world we live in is corrupt, and people can no longer accept accomplishments as just the result of hard work and a passion for your job. I blame this corruption on the over-exposure of obvious cheaters like Barry Bonds. The issue is that ESPN.com posted the story about Ray losing weight and getting fit on it's website. The problem with ESPN.com is that it treats every article like a blog, and allows fans/ haters to post comments to the article, regardless of who wrote it (it was an Associated Press article, for the record). After reading that Ray is now more fit than ever, many of those haters started accusing him of using steroids.
Let me start out by saying that anybody accusing Ray Lewis of substance abuse is stupid and should really be deported. Accusing Ray Lewis of using steroids is like accusing me of working too hard at work (I'm sitting in my cubicle writing a blog post). Ray Lewis is the definition of hard work. He gets to work early, he stays late, and he barely stops during the day. He breaks down tape, practices plays, studies his playbook, breaks down more tape, practices some more, and adds fuel to his considerable fire that he will ultimately unleash on some unsuspecting punk on Sunday. Ray Lewis is a self- made man, who grew up without a father, and helped to raise his siblings just to help his mother out. Everything Ray Lewis has today is a result of the hard work and dedication he has shown throughout his life. He even went back to school during his playing career to finish his degree.
To accuse Ray Lewis of substance abuse just because he got leaner also shows a misunderstanding of what steroids actually do. The last time I checked, steroids build unhealthy amounts of muscle mass. Barry Bonds looked just a little bit bigger than me 10 years ago. Today, at the ripe old age of 42, he looks like the Hulk, and his head is bigger than most watermelons. Ray Lewis, conversely, got leaner, which means smaller. To those accusing him of using, let me restate that: He got smaller. His muscle mass did not grow, and his body fat went down. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's very possible that the kickboxing, wrestling, and swimming could have contributed to the slimming of his body.
The haters of Ray Lewis need to unite against him for one simple reason: If they unite, there's a slim, slim, slim chance they may be able to stop him. A leaner Ray Lewis will be able to run faster, but it's still Ray Lewis, so when he hits you, there's a 30% you will die. From what I could tell, most of the haters came from two distinct and unsurprising groups: AFC North rivals (which I respect, since you have to hate your rivals), and AFC contenders. To the North rivals, I say good luck, because the Ravens are even hungrier than they were last year, and Ray is just the tip of the iceberg.
To the AFC Contenders (Colts, Pats, Chargers), I say you're all cowards. If you are all as good as you think you are, why does it matter if Ray Lewis has reached all new levels of scary? If the Colts offense "can't be stopped" (0 TDs last year against the Ravens), or the Chargers are the "most balanced team in football" (lost to the Ravens), or the Pats made the "best off season moves" (enjoy your headcase WR), then why are the Ravens even on the radar? The answer is the others are scared. They've always been scared of us, because they know defense wins championships. Now the face of that defense is in such good shape, even he thinks it's scary.
The NFL is in for a big shock this year. Ray Lewis is back, and when he gets loose and starts running roughshod all over the opposing offense, it's not going to be a pretty sight, especially for all you haters out there.