After 17 seasons in the NFL the end had to be near, but even so, it still comes as a shock.
According to the Baltimore Ravens, linebacker Ray Lewis has announced that he is retiring at the end of this season. That end could come at any time, as the Ravens host the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round of the playoffs on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.
The odds are that Sunday's game will be the last one at home for the Ravens this season, as the AFC's #4 seed usually goes on the road for the rest of the post season and hopefully ending with a Super Bowl victory.
Lewis was the Ravens 2nd draft pick in their history, after LT Jonathan Ogden, in the 1996 NFL Draft. He is the only remaining active player from the team's 2001 Super Bowl victory.
The debate will continue over whether he is not only the best linebacker even to step onto the field as well as one of the best overall and most respected player by others around the league.
Let's go out a winner this Sunday and let me be among the first to say, "Thanks Ray!"