Back to you, Ray Lewis

Back to you, Ray Lewis
January 3, 2013, 3:00 am

Coming to a microphone near you, Ray Lewis. At least, that could be his if he wants it.

Such is the opinion among the sports television experts  interviewed by The Sun’s David Zurawik. They all projected the Ravens’ retiring defensive superstar as a compelling football TV commentator.

“He inspires, motivates and captivates people,” Fred Gaudelli, executive producer of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” told Zurawik.

Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer for NFL studio shows, said: “Ray Lewis has instant name recognition among all football fans, and when he speaks, he never holds back. You know he will be candid in offering his insights and opinions. That’s everything you hope for in an analyst, not to mention the fact that he’s a Super Bowl champion and a first-ballot Hall of Famer.”

Gaudelli said Lewis might be better suited for one of Markman’s shows rather than in the booth doing game analysis.

“I think he would do better in front of the camera on a studio show or a taped show as opposed to being in booth,” Gaudelli said. “I’m not saying he couldn’t succeed in the booth, but I think he would have a better chance in the studio setting.”

But, to quote Chuck Berry, c’est la vie, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell. As NFL fans well know, Emmitt Smith, a media-friendly guy as a Hall of Fame-bound running back, principally for the Cowboys, was a disaster when he tried to be an NFL pundit for ESPN — spewing nonsense that launched a thousand blog posts.

“He answered every question. He had a winning smile. He seemed like he was going to be very good,” said John Ourand, Sports Business Daily media reporter, “but he took the next step and sort of flamed out. So, it’s very difficult to determine how they’re going to do.”

Still, Ourand said, when it comes to the Ravens linebacker on TV, take Lewis and give the points.

“I guarantee you Ray Lewis will be on TV on some national outlet next year,” he said.