Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Lewis inspired greatest Olympic champion
By Jamison Hensley
After Ray Lewis' final game, which will come in the Super Bowl next Sunday, he should put together a resume that can read something like this: Future Hall of Fame linebacker, part-time dancer and successful motivational speaker.
Lewis really has become the Tony Robbins/Dr. Phil of sports. He spoke to the Loyola men's lacrosse team three days before they won the national championship. He talked to the Stanford men's basketball team before it won the NIT.
Now, Michael Phelps is crediting Lewis for getting him back into the swimming pool in 2012 and helping him become the most decorated Olympian in history. Phelps is a Baltimore native and avid Ravens fan who won the last of his 22 Olympic medals five months ago. But Phelps has acknowledged talking to Lewis in the past about whether he wanted to come back for his fourth Olympic Games.
“We’ve talked about so much the last couple years of my career,” Phelps said in the Ravens locker room after the AFC Championship Game, via The Washington Post. “He just helped me get through a lot of hard times, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. He’s been telling me, ‘One more shot. We’re gonna have one more shot.’ And he did it.”
Soon I'm sure we'll hear about how Lewis saved the NHL season and how he plans to speak to the struggling Lakers. Though we joke about Lewis going into motivational speaking, it's not a laughing matter.
The Baltimore Sun recently estimated that Lewis could command a six-figure payout per engagement. Stars like former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and former Oakland Raider and current television analyst Howie Long earn between $50,000 and $100,000, according to their booking agency.
But Lewis has one more motivational speech for the Ravens, and we'll find out if he can keep up his impeccable record.