Ray Lewis is eager for his Sunday induction into the Ravens Ring of Honor, and his emotional return to M & T Bank Stadium.
Lewis spoke on a national conference call Tuesday about his return to Baltimore, and adjusting to retirement.
“I saw Tedy Bruschi’s (ceremony in New England) the other day, and I’m just watching from afar thinking, `Wow, I have to get ready to do something like that in front of my city that I’ve been with since I was like 18 or 19 years old’’’ Lewis said. “It’s one of the most humbling feelings that you ever go through. You think, ‘Wow, I was able to stand on my own, finish my career, go out on top and now return back to my city. To be honest, it’s very humbling.”
Lewis said he still spoke to his former teammates and coaches regularly, and that it was draining for him to watch Ravens games on television.
“I’m going crazy in my hotel room.” Lewis said. “My hotel room is the loudest hotel room in the freaking hotel because I’m always amped. I’m like that when I’m watching anything. But I will always have a connection to that. That connection is forever.”
With the Ravens facing the Texans on Sunday, longtime Ravens safety Ed Reed will also be in the building. Reed has missed the Texans’ first two games, but Lewis said he expects Reed to play Sunday.
“If he can’t go the third week into the regular season – that’s what they got him there for – if he can’t go, then there’s still something really wrong,”’ Lewis said.
As for not playing himself, Lewis said the adjustment to retirement has been smooth.
“My family had to sacrifice so much,” Lewis said. “My kids, they were always adjusting to me. The time with them, just being there and them knowing that their dad is home…I appreciated the game, I love the game so much, but I can’t tell you that I have withdraws.”
However, when Lewis hears the crowd Sunday, he is certain to get an adrenaline rush.