NEW ORLEANS -- Minister Ray Lewis, who resides over the house of the Baltimore Ravens, is known for wearing his religion on his shoulder pads. His postgame speeches are akin to Sunday sermons as they're drenched in gratitude to his lord and savior. When accused of using PEDs, he claimed he's too blessed to be stressed and blamed the accusations on the devil.
With all his religious references, it was surprising when he decided to take God out of the football equation during Super Bowl XLVII media day.
“I don't believe [God] picks a winner or not,” Lewis said. “What I do believe is that if you give him true credit to say 'Whatever your will is, so be it.'
“There's irony in sports. There's truth. If there's a winner there's a loser.... But the bottom line is you never lose when your mind-set is whatever his will is, so be it. If you come out and give everything you got, that's all you have to do. Whatever happens after that, it happens.”
I don't think Lewis used the word irony correctly there, but he did acknowledge that God does not have a hand in who wins or loses a football game. And according to a study by the Public Religion Research Institute, 73 percent of Americans agree with him.
However, more than half of Americans do believe “God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success,” according to the study.
Of course no one knows the answer to that, but what we do know is that Lewis references religion a lot and some, including Lewis' former teammate Kordell Stewart, believe folks digging up dirt on Lewis is a result of his recent expression of faith.
“It's tough because the man has gone through so much probably mentally or emotionally ... to the point where he has no choice but to extend his love and appreciation out to God,” Stewart said. “That's where we draw our energy from regardless of who we are. However extreme it needs to be, we do it.”
There's no line in Vegas on which team God wants to win, but regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII or the end result of this deer antler spray situation, it's almost certain Lewis will continue to preach the gridiron gospel.
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