Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Ray Lewis danced one final time on the M&T
Bank Stadium turf as the city of Baltimore celebrated the Ravens' victory in
Super Bowl XLVII with a raucous celebration on Tuesday.
An overflow crowd reveled in Sunday's 34-31 victory over the San Francisco
49ers in New Orleans, which gave Baltimore its first title of any kind since
the Ravens routed the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV back in January of
2001, with thousands of fans lined throughout the city streets and the stadium
also showing their appreciation for Lewis as the beloved team icon begins his
retirement after a remarkable 17-year run with the organization.
Quarterback Joe Flacco drew his share of cheers as well for his MVP
performance in Sunday's thrilling win, while safety Ed Reed added a little
singing to Lewis' trademark "Squirrel Dance" out of the entrance tunnel by
belting out a rendition of Eddie Money's "Two Tickets to Paradise" and leading
the familiar chorus of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" during the
Still, the main attraction was undoubtedly Lewis, the franchise's most
decorated and recognizable player and the only remaining member from the
Ravens' first Super Bowl triumph 12 years ago, as the 37-year-old concluded
his self-termed "last ride."
The two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl XXXV MVP gave
plenty of affection back to the city where he spent his entire pro career
while addressing the crowd at the rally.
"There is nothing in the world, there is no place on this earth, that is
better than Baltimore," Lewis said. "We believed in each other from day one,
from 1996 to now.
"The only way on my last ride to pay Baltimore back for everything you did for
me and all the support you gave to me, was to bring back the Lombardi Trophy
to Baltimore one more time. I love you, Baltimore. Baltimore! Forever my
Reed, an impending free agent with an uncertain future with the team, took the
podium next and took a slight jab at the team the Ravens toppled to claim the
"Who's got it better than who?," he said in a reference to 49ers head coach
Jim Harbaugh's famed team rallying cry of "Who's got it better than us?"
Harbaugh, of course, is the younger brother of Ravens sideline boss John
Harbaugh, who wrapped up the festivities by leading the crowd in a team chant
after thanking the fans for their support.
"Our team, I'm talking about all of us, one of the keys was our
determination," said Harbaugh. "We played with incredible determination and
resolve. And judging by how hard it was to get into this stadium, I would say
that's true about our fans, too. We're on the parade coming down here, and
every cranny, every sidewalk is full. Every opening where it opens up, every
grassy knoll is packed with Ravens fans. They broke down the barriers behind
Ray Lewis and mobbed the streets, right? They filled the streets.
"The city's going crazy! For the Ravens! The world champion Baltimore Ravens!"
The celebration began shortly before noon ET at City Hall and continued with a
parade through the streets until the team reached M&T Bank Stadium.
The Sports Network