Following an unnecessary roughness penalty on Ravens running back Ray Rice on Bengals’ rookie linebacker Vontez Burfict, a funny exchange was caught by television cameras of Rice and injured linebacker Ray Lewis on the sidelines.
After their scuffle, Burfict played a wonderful game and finished with 18 tackles – much of which he credited to Rice. Burfict told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, “[the foul] kind of had me on fire for the rest of the game. just channeling my emotions in the right way.”
The Bengals got the last laugh by winning a game that virtually didn’t matter for either playoff bound team, but that won’t take away from the funny exchange on the Ravens sideline – especially given the recent news of Lewis’ intentions to retire following the season.
Rice joined a group of 200 fans at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood for Dinner with Ray Rice and divulged more on his conversation following the penalty.
Click here to listen to the story: RiceAudio
Taking from Rice’s quotes, the conversation went a little something like this:
“I cut [Burfict] down, went back after him, knocked him down, I get to the sidelines and I get the personal foul,” Rice said.
Ray [Lewis] looked at me and said: “What are you doing, are you possessed or something?”
Rice: “Ray, I’m mad.”
Lewis: “Raymond, why are you mad?”
Rice: “Ray, he talked to me like he was the next Ray Lewis. There is only one Ray Lewis, I don’t want to hear about this next Ray Lewis!”
Lewis: “So, that got you mad?”
Lewis: “So what else got you mad?”
Rice: “Because you’re sitting over here watching!”
Rice was clearly having a good time with the crowd and gave fans a great insight to the bond he shares with Lewis. Of course, Rice didn’t say anything in a tone to insult Burfict; extracurricular activities are routine in the NFL, especially after the whistle.
Rice said he learned something from Lewis, who won’t be standing on the sidelines anymore as he plans to play on Sunday in what will perhaps be his final game at M&T Bank Stadium.
“In that moment, he obviously told me to control my emotions,” Rice said. “Words can be splattered all over the field, but at the end of the day, you talk with your pads.”
If Lewis wants to have any chance of playing in Baltimore for another game after this Sunday, he’ll have to hope for more 18-tackle performances in Burfict’s future, as both the Bengals and Ravens will have to win their next two games for that to happen.