Jamal Lewis is not worthy of the ROH

Jamal-Lewis-1189

The Ravens Ring of Honor has become somewhat of a joke. In fact, it has been a joke since its first inductee was announced in 2001 – Ernest Byner.

Ask NFL fans across the country what is the first thing they think of when the name Ernest Byner is mentioned and most will recall his infamous fumble in the 1987 AFC Championship Game while a member of the Browns facing the Denver Broncos. Google Byner’s name – go ahead. The second search item that pops up is “The Fumble.”

For those fans who are kinder, they will remember Byner as a significant contributor to the Browns in the mid-late 80’s and to the Redskins during the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Virtually no one outside the Baltimore Metropolitan Area will remember Byner as a Raven.

Yet he’s the inaugural inductee into the Ravens Ring of Honor.

Few will argue that Art Modell’s choice of Byner as the leadoff hitter for the Ring was a colossal mistake!

Were the Ravens so hard up to create the Ring that they started it with a guy who averaged 3.9 yards/carry on 274 attempts over a 2 year period?

To borrow from Brian Billick, this egregious mistake has influenced all subsequent inductees into the Ring and even worse it cheapens the distinction.

Today any retired Raven with significant contributions during the Ravens brief history, gets the red carpet treatment and a placard with their name on it to be hung and displayed for the world to see at M&T Bank Stadium.

With the bar set so low given Byner as the standard, Steve Bisciotti better start working on plans to build a bigger stadium because that ROH is going to get crowded real soon.

Next up is Jamal Lewis.

Lewis is the best running back that has ever worn a Ravens uniform. Without him the Ravens might not have won Super Bowl XXXV. And with Byner as your benchmark, obviously Lewis deserves his place among the other inductees.

But let’s be honest here, there should only be three names in that Ring today: Art Modell, Jonathan Ogden and Matt Stover.

To be considered for the Ring, a player should at least garnish some consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Will players such as Peter Boulware and Michael McCrary, undoubtedly big contributors to the Ravens’ cause in their day, excite the voting committee in Canton, Ohio?

I don’t think so!

Other former Ravens who will also receive serious consideration for the Ring such as Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg and Todd Heap – great Ravens no doubt, but are they worthy of the Ring?

Nope!

Nor is Jamal Lewis.

Not if I had my way.

 

 

What do you think? Does Jamal deserve to be in the ROH? Cast your vote in our poll above.

 

This entry was posted in Blog View, Lombardi's Way by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

10 Raves on “Jamal Lewis is not worthy of the ROH

  1. Joe on said:

    I would agree with you about Jamal to some extent, but I don’t think the Ring of Honor should be a “Hall of Fame” exclusive group. I think it should be reserved for special Ravens who exhibit exemplary performance both on and off the field…

    One guy who will never be in but I would fight tooth and nail to get him in is Edwin Mulitalo. Ed will never go to the HoF…hell, he never made a Pro Bowl. But he was a good enough player to stick around as a starter for 7 seasons. And his contributions off the field set a high standard for future Ravens to live up to. Ed STILL has a big outreach in the community. That kind of lifestyle should be commended. I know he’d never go into the Ring Of Honor, but certainly I’d welcome swapping him for Byner, and I don’t think we’d shake our heads when explaining that selection.

    In closing, I think the Ring Of Honor needs to identify something different than Hall of Fame. This is the Ravens chance to showcase important figures to the club’s history and success. Jamal loosely fits the bill, with his role in SB 35 and the 2003 season (295 yard game, 2000+ yard season). But to me, his attitude at the end of his career and his decline after 2003 would lead me to send in a No vote for his place in Ring of Honor.

  2. Bill on said:

    I couldn’t disagree with you more Tony. Jamal Lewis was a terror on the field and he was the single offensive engine in an inept offense that pulled out a Super Bowl win. Jamal also broke the single game rusing record that many thought was untouchable for so long. He aslo came with him just a few yards of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season record as well.

    Though he may not be a HOF candidate, his contributions significantly impacted the Raven franchise and helped galvanize a city behind the team. Although I love McCrary and Boulware, Jamal is more deserving than either by his accomplsihments while in uniform.

    Lastly, there are a lot of great traditions that started off as duds. Though Byner in our ring doesn’t make sense, its great trivia.

  3. Luke on said:

    Can’t agree with you at all here, Tony.

    Here’s a few points I’d like to make:

    #1– I think you are dwelling wayyyyy too much on this Hall of Fame consideration as the sole criteria. I think that’s flawed simply because the Hall of Fame is determined by media members who have no attachment to the Ravens at all. Why would we let “outsiders” determine who goes into our Ring of Honor?

    #2- When you say the name Jamal Lewis to a knowledgeable non-Raven fan, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? His 2000 yard season. That was a lasting impact he left on the game of football. Only six backs have ever done it in NFL history. Simpson, Sanders, and Dickerson are already in Canton. Terrell Davis might eventually get there. Chris Johnson isn’t there yet, but is still alive for that honor. Lewis’ name doesn’t seem out of place in the least in this list. He’s a 10,000 yard career back. He won an Offensive Player of the Year award. He made multiple pro bowls. He rushed for 1300 yards in 14 starts as a rookie, leading the Ravens to the Super Bowl. There is zero shame or confusion for outside observers in having Jamal Lewis in our ring of honor. Unlike Byner, he doesn’t taint the ROH by his addition. If anything, he strengthens it through the simple remembrances of some of the great things he did. This wasn’t some non-descript O-lineman or Defensive Tackle. This was a guy who was a dominant player for a handful of seasons from 2000-03.

    #3- You stated that “To be considered for the Ring, a player should at least garnish some consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame”. Do you really think that Lewis won’t get some consideration? I recognize that his HOF chances are quite slim, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t make the list of the 25 finalists at some point in the near future. Maybe I’m being too generous, but I would think making the list of 25 finalists clearly qualifies you as least getting consideration. Every vote-eligible running back in NFL history who has accumulated 10,000 yards has made at least one final 25 list.

    Unlike Boulware or McCrary, Jamal Lewis has some legitimate HOF-worthy components to his resume. He’s 21st all-time in rushing. He won the aforementioned OPOY award. He was the #1 offensive weapon on a Super Bowl winning team (shouldn’t be a criteria, but is). He had SEVEN 1000 yard seasons. Again, I think his chances of being in Canton are extremely thin, but to say he’s not at least a HOF candidate is inaccurate in my opinion.

    #4- Lastly, you make an argument for Stover, so why not Lewis. Do you think that using your “has to get some HOF consideration” criteria, Stover comes out ahead of Lewis. Personally, I think it’s far more likely will see Lewis on a Final 25 list for Canton than Stover. Stover was a very good kicker, but if there is going to be a 2nd kicker to join Stenerud in Canton is far more likely to be contemporaries of Stover like Morten Andersen, Vinatieri, or even Jason Elam. I’d be surprised if Stover ever appears on a ballot. Using that criteria doesn’t add up in my viewpoint.

    For the record, I think Stover DEFINITELY should be in the ROH. I’m not downplaying his ROH worthiness by undercutting his Hall of Fame candidacy. I just think we need to find a different measuring stick than the one you stated, Tony.

    I absolutely think Lewis should be too. I think Boulwre should be as well. I’m on the fence about McCrary.

  4. Irene on said:

    You must have fell and bumped your head. If Jamal Lewis doesn’t belong in the ROH then no one from that Super Bowl team belongs there. This is about the RAVENS. So don’t it twisted, nothing else matters but who has been an outstanding player, record setter, pro bowler and fan favorite for OUR team.

  5. George on said:

    I agree 100% that Ernest Byner in the Ring of Fame is a joke. But this is about the Ravens best players, not if they are NFL HOF material. He** yes, Jamal belongs there!

  6. ravensean509 on said:

    Certainly don’t agree with the selection of byner which was modell tipping his cap for services rendered but i do think it’s similar to a team hall of fame. I like the selections of boulware, mccrary and lewis, actually prefer jamal to stover. Heap and mcallister deserve a look. Probably every team has it’s idiosyncracies in selections, most likely erring on the easy side for induction early on.

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