Monday, January 14, 2013
After playing one of the longest, hard-fought playoffs games I can remember, in some cold-ass weather, class-act and one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all-time, Peyton Manning, went over to the Baltimore Raven locker room to say what's up to one of the greatest Linebackers of all-time, Ray Lewis.
Grantland's Hua Hsu on Ray Lewis is Truly Awesome:
"Ray Lewis has described many things as “awesome.” He dieted and exercised before this season and showed up to camp at his lightest weight in some 15 years: “It’s awesome,” he said, “I feel great.” Earlier this season he described Joe Flacco and the Ravens' much-improved offense as “awesome.” Last week, as he took a victory lap around the Ravens’ stadium one last time, he described it as “the most awesome thing you could ever ask for in any professional career.” After Baltimore’s twist-filled victory over Denver on Saturday, Lewis began doing that postgame proselytizing thing that’s common in such contexts. Maybe it’s the awareness that Lewis is nearing the end or maybe it was the delirium of the game, but there was something wildly moving and strange about his incantations. He said some cold-blooded shit about “weapons,” just as the tool that had been forged for his demise, Peyton Manning, walked up to hug him. Then his eyes got gone and serene as he admired his team’s mile-high handiwork: “Man … it’s just awesome,” he said, all blissful and blessed, clouds of mist surrounding his face, as though the Creator had taken a highlighter to him. There’ve been few players over the past decade as intense and absorbing as Lewis. For those of us who remember when “Ray Lewis weapons” turned up a different kind of search-engine result, there hasn’t been another athlete whose path to righteousness has felt so visceral and extreme.
When I sent the “Elon speech” to the most intense friend I know, he watched it and then told me he was re-evaluating his entire work ethic. Ray Lewis speaks, and it’s like I finally understand The Tree of Life, the concept of infinity, “Christina’s World,” my father-in-law, and Jules from Pulp Fiction. He understands what he's saying, and you want to follow along. “Awesome” is one of those words where we tend to forget its original meaning: To be awesome is to feel awe. It’s not just an expression of approval and appreciation but also one that suggests fear, discomfort, the presence of something sublime, mysterious, and overwhelming. That’s the “awesome” the God-fearing and God-loving Lewis meant to use, and for a moment — the first moment in many, many years — I wanted to know what that state of being possibly felt like."