Ray Lewis won’t be welcoming people to Baltimore anymore

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There was no greater image to cap a legendary career than seeing Ray Lewis emerge from the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium holding the Lombardi Trophy as 100,000+ fans packed the stadium to celebrate a Super Bowl victory.

Even though Lewis spent the first half of his life in Florida, he adopted Baltimore as the city also adopted him. His face may be plastered on video games, commercials and highlight reels, but nothing can replace the goosebumps Lewis gave fans before he did his iconic squirrel dance before his home crowd.

Retirement was imminent for this gridiron great but the reminders of the man Lewis is made it easier to appreciate his absence given all that he’s done for a city and their football franchise.

Before the 2012 season, the Ray Lewis of Baltimore companies, Under Armour, erected a three dimensional billboard along I-95 welcoming those entering Baltimore city from the highway. On Ravens Walk outside Unitas Plaza at the stadium, a replica billboard sat along the street where fans could put their face in the place of Lewis. A great marketing tool to not only show off your fanhood, but to also brand a local company.

Well, the Ray Lewis billboard is no more.

As I drove to work this morning, I noticed a crane on the southbound side of I-95. As I passed, I turned and saw that Lewis’ head and pieces of paper to look like Lewis was bursting from the sign were removed. Billboards change all the time, but to Baltimore, this billboard was more than just an advertisement.

Permanent memorials far greater than a billboard will be constructed in upcoming years to honor Lewis as one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football, but for the time being, the Under Armour billboard was a nice touch.

It may sound stupid, but the removal of Ray Lewis welcoming people to Baltimore is just another reminder of how much he really changed Charm City.

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Kris Jones. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

10 Raves on “Ray Lewis won’t be welcoming people to Baltimore anymore

  1. g money on said:

    damn, i passed it this morning and didn’t notice that it was gone. i loved that billboard. just a further reminder that he is not playing anymore.

  2. Raylean Allen on said:

    I passed that sign every morning and was hoping they would keep it up. Wow, now its gone. Thanks Ray from a Ravens fan.

  3. Ahmad on said:

    I was at U. Miami as a professor when Ray played as a freshman. As a season ticket holder for a few years, I was blessed to see the Miami Hurricanes during their days as a true dynasty. With a team of future NFL players, under great coaching, and a fire and drive that wouldn’t quit, no one, and I mean, no one, impressed me more than the young Ray Lewis. When he was drafted by the Ravens, I was so happy. Ray was born to play football and he has not dissapointed. As a city blessed with some legends (Unitas, Murray, etc.) Ray is another great addition to that list. We will miss Ray on the field, but we wish him nothing but the best. He is a great ambassador or the NFL, Baltimore, and his religious attitude. Enjoy retirement, thank you, and best of luck in all your future endeavors.

    We need, and I am sure it will happen, that we should retire the number 52.

  4. Dave on said:

    This simply is not true. I drove by the billboard last night (April 3) and it was still up, in all its glory. Perhaps they were just doing some maintenance on it?

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