In a moment Ravens fans have anticipated since the twilight of Ray Lewis' career, the legendary linebacker will advance to the final round of inductees, bringing him closer to what would be an expected first-ballot induction. The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zriebec seems certain of it:
Former Ravens MLB Ray Lewis makes cut as a Hall of Fame finalist. His candidacy will be up for discussion the night before the Super Bowl and it probably won't be a long discussion. He's viewed as a near lock.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) January 3, 2018
Lewis is regarded by many as the greatest inside linebacker to ever play the game. The more engaging debate is his ranking on the list of greatest defensive players, regardless of position. A first ballot induction would surprise no one, even with the off field issues Lewis faced early in his career.
Ravens fans are sure to attend his induction ceremony in large numbers, as he set the franchise's philosophy, transcending what it meant to “play like a Raven,” a concept that seems to have been lost in the recent years since his retirement. Lewis set a standard of excellence, every player that walked into his defense had to be accountable to greatness. Ray Lewis is the epitome of Baltimore Ravens football.