Like many of you, I didn’t get much sleep last night. The adrenalin is running through my veins like a freight train. And apparently it has influenced my dreams.
I woke up frustrated because in my dream, Ray Lewis was addressing the team as he always does the night before a game. But just as he began to speak I awoke and looked at the clock.
It was 3:52.
Of course I took that as a sign, a good one. Today is February 3 and Ray’s number, well, you know.
I could not fall back asleep so I lay there, staring at the ceiling wondering what Ray might have said. And this is what I came up with.
Tomorrow is the last stop in our journey. Along the way we’ve experienced highs and lows, good times and bad. We’ve dealt with adversity, lost loved ones, battled injuries.
Sizzle, they counted you out but you didn’t take the bait. You kept your eye on the prize and every day, every drop of sweat, the pain that would discourage a weaker man, you fought through it dog and here you are!
Joe, they beat you up in the media…they tried to chip away at your pride but you were strong, your mind was locked in and you never doubted yourself. WE didn’t doubt you.
Look around you. Look at the man sitting next to you. Look into his eyes and what you will see is a brother. A man you can count on when no one outside this room thinks you have a chance. A man who will tell you yes when others say, “not a chance!”
We went to Denver as big underdogs on a short week in that thin air of the Mile High City to take on the NUMBER 1 SEED and we left with a “W.” We went to New England, again a heavy underdog in a place that we left last year feeling despair, but we kept our heads up, fought through, recognized it as a test of your strength and character and we left as conference champions.
And now there’s one more step to go and again the world sees us as underdogs.
Enough of the Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore and Patrick Willis talk. What about you Joe and you Ray Rice and you Dannell? I’m tired of hearing about Randy Moss being the best of all time and still no ring. I’m tired of hearing about Justin Smith and Aldon Smith and Vernon Davis.
We’ve got Q! Dog there is not a receiver on this planet that can out-physical you and YOU know what it’s like to come so close and not get that ring. Paul Kruger, you have been a beast yet they hardly whisper your name. Dennis Pitta, the shot you took in New England only to get back up on the next play and score a touchdown. Their No. 85 ain’t gonna do that!
You’ve all got heart, passion, toughness and focus. I want that from you for 60 minutes. Every one of you, 60 minutes.
Ed, this is home for you. You’ve waited your entire career to get here and now that you have, write your legacy dog. Write it tomorrow. This is your calling. Listen to it and answer it.
For me, this has been a helluva ride and each one of you has left a mark on me. These days will stay with me forever. FOREVER!
But let’s finish this. If they don’t respect you, respect each other. We’ve earned it even if all the pundits doubt us. It’s time to prove them wrong. Together, each and every play. Do your job. Beat your man. Play together.
What will you do if today if tomorrow wasn’t promised you?
That’s how you have to play this game!
All I want is everything you’ve got.
Expect that from me, expect that from each other.
This is our time!